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World's Classics 















Born, Florence May 3, 1469 

Died, Florence June 22, 1527 

The present translation of Machiavelli's * Prince ' was 
first published in 'The World's Classics' in 1903, and 
reprinted in 1909 and 1921. 

(OCT I 6 ^943 

Printed in England by the Garden City Press, Letchworth. 



OF all Machiavelli's works The Prince is undoubtedly 
the greatest ; aiid a new English edition of it is 
likely to he welcome to all those who have not the 
advantage of reading it in the classical Italian 

For a true appreciation of Machiavelli, impossible 
in a brief Preface, I must refer the English reader 
to Macaulay's Essay on the Italian historian and 
statesman. In it he will see how our Author's ideas 
and work were wrongfully and wilfully misinter- 
preted by the very men who, while profiting by his 
wisdom, have with great ingratitude criticised the 
statesman and defamed his name, as that of the 
inventor of the worst political system ever imagined. 
Yet, as his whole life was an indefatigable and un- 
remitting endeavour to secure for his native Florence 
a good and popular government, and as he lost his 
great office of Secretary to the Florentine Republic 
on account of his avowed liberal opinions, it is not 
only unjust but ridiculous to accuse him of helping 
tyrants to enslave the people. What he did was to 
show in the most deliberate and in the plainest way 
the arts by which free peoples were made slaves ; 
and, had his words of advice been always heeded, 
no tyrant in Italy or elsewhere could have been 
successful in his policy. That he was not listened 
to, and his advice scorned and spurned, was not 
Machiavelli's fault. 


Those who still share the opinion of his interested 
detractors should read his private correspondence 
with the leaders of liberal ideas in Italy many of 
his letters being still left unpublished in the MS. 
Collection of Giuliano Ricci in the National Library, 
in the Riccardiana Library (No. 2467), in the 
Government Archives (Strozzi, Nos. 133 and 1028) 
of Florence, in the Barberini Library, and in the 
Collezione Gonnelli of the Palatine Library in 





1. The various kinds of Government and the 

ways by which they are established . 3 

2. Of Hereditary Monarchies ... 4 

3. Of Mixed Monarchies .... 5 

4 Why the Kingdom of Darius, occupied by 
Alexander, did not rebel against the 
successors of the latter after his death . 14 

5. The way to govern Cities or Dominions 

that, previous to being occupied, lived 
under their own Laws .... 18 

6. Of New Dominions which have been ac- 

quired by one's own Arms and Powers . 20 

7. Of New Dominions acquired by the Power 

of others or by Fortune ... 24 

8. Of those who have attained the position of 

Prince by villainy .... 32 

9. Of the Civic Principality . ' .37 

10. How the strength of all States should be 

measured ...... 41 

11. Of Ecclesiastical Principalities . , 44 

12. The different kinds of Militia and Mer- 

cenary Soldiers 47 




13. Of Auxiliary, Mixed, and Native Troops 53 

14. AVTiat the duties of a Prince are with 

regard to the Militia .... 67 

15. Of the things for which Men, and especi- 

ally Princes, are praised or blamed . 60 

16. Of Liberality and Niggardliness . . 62 

17. Of Cruelty and Clemency, and whether it 

is better to be loved or feared . . 65 

18. In what way Princes must keep faith . 69 

19. That we must avoid being despised and 

hated 72 

20. Whether Fortresses and other things 

which Princes often make are useful or 
injurious 83 

21. How a Prince must act in order to gain 

reputation 88 

22. Of the Secretaries of Princes ... 92 

23. How Flatterers must be shunned . . 94 

24. Why the Princes of Italy have lost their 

States 97 

25. How much Fortune can do in human 

affairs, and how it may be opposed . 99 

26. Exhortation to liberate Italy from the 

Barbarians .... 103 





IT is customary for those who wish to gain the 
favour of a prince to endeavour to do so by offer- 
ing him gifts of those things which they hold 
most precious, or in which they know him to take 
especial delight. In this way princes are often 
presented with horses, arms, cloth of gold, gems, 
and such-like ornaments worthy of their grandeur. 
In my desire, however, to offer to Your Highness 
some humble testimony of my devotion, I have 
been unable to find among my possessions anything 
which I hold so dear or esteem so highly as that 
knowledge of the deeds of great men which I have 
acquired through a long experience of modern 
events and a constant study of the past. 

The results of my long observations and reflec- 
tions are recorded in the little volume which I now 
offer to Your Highness : and although I deem this 
work unworthy of Your Highness's notice, yet my 
confidence in your humanity assures me that you 
will accept it, knowing that it is not in my power 


to offer you a greater gift than that of enabling 
you to understand in the shortest possible time all 
those things which I have learnt through danger 
and suffering in the course of many years. I have 
not sought to adorn my work with long phrases or 
high-sounding words or any of those allurements 
and ornaments with which many writers seek to 
embellish their books, as I desire no honour for my 
work but such as its truth and the gravity of its 
subject may justly deserve. Nor will it, I trust, 
be deemed presumptuous on the part of a man of 
humble and obscure condition to attempt to discuss 
and criticise the government of princes ; for in 
the same way that landscape painters station them- 
selves in the valleys in order to draw mountains or 
elevated ground, and ascend an eminence in order 
to get a good view of the plains, so it is necessary 
to be a prince to be able to know thoroughly the 
nature of a people, and to know the nature of 
princes one must be one of the populace. 

May I trust, therefore, that Your Highness will 
accept this little gift in the spirit in which it is 
offered ; and if Your Highness will deign to peruse 
it, you will recognise in it my ardent desire that 
you may attain to that grandeur which fortune and 
your own merits presage for you. 

And should Your Highness gaze down from the 
summit of that eminence towards this humble spot, 
you will recognise the great and unmerited suffer- 
ings inflicted on me by a cruel fate. 




ALL states and dominions which hold or have 
held sway over mankind are either republics or 
monarchies. Monarchies are either hereditary 
ones, in which the rulers have been for many years 
of the same family, or else they are those of recent 
foundation. The newly founded ones are either 
entirely new, as was Milan to Francesco Sforza, or 
else they are, as it were, new members grafted on 
to the hereditary possessions of the prince that 
annexes them, as is the kingdom of Naples to the 
King of Spain. The dominions thus acquired have 
either been previously accustomed to the rule of 
another prince, or else have been free states, and 
they are annexed either by force of arms of the 
prince, or of others, or else fall to him by good 
fortune or merit. 



I WILL not here speak of republics, having already 
treated of them fully in another place. I will deal 
only with monarchies, and will show how the 
various kinds described above can be governed and 
maintained. In the first place, in hereditary states 
accustomed to the reigning family the difficulty of 
maintaining them is far less than in new monarchies ; 
for it is sufficient not to exceed the ancestral usages, 
and to accommodate one's self to accidental circum- 
stances ; in this way such a prince, if of ordinary 
ability, will always be able to maintain his position, 
unless some very exceptional and excessive force 
deprives him of it ; and even if he be thus deprived 
of it, on the slightest misfortune happening to the 
new occupier, he will be able to regain it. 

We have in Italy the example of the Duke of 
Ferrara, who was able to withstand the assaults of 
the Venetians in the year '84, and of Pope Julius 
in the year '10, for no other reason than because 
of the antiquity of his family in that dominion. In 
as much as the legitimate prince has less cause and 
less necessity to give offence, it is only natural that 
he should be more loved ; and, if no extraordi- 
nary vices make him hated, it is only reasonable for 
his subjects to be naturally attached to him, the 
memories and causes of innovations being forgotten 
in the long period over which his rule has existed ; 
whereas one change always leaves the way prepared 
for the introduction of another. 



Bur it is in the new monarchy that difficulties 
really exist. Firstly, if it is not entirely new, but 
a member as it were of a mixed state, its disorders 
spring at first from a natural difficulty which exists 
in all new dominions, because men change masters 
willingly, hoping to better themselves ; and this 
belief makes them take arms against their rulers, 
in which they are deceived, as experience shows 
them that they have gone from bad to worse. This 
is the result of another very natural cause, which is 
the necessary harm inflicted on those over whom 
the prince obtains dominion, both by his soldiers and 
by an infinite number of other injuries unavoidably 
caused by his occupation. 

Thus you find enemies in all those whom you 
have injured by occupying that dominion, and you 
cannot maintain the friendship of those who have 
helped you to obtain this possession, as you will not 
be able to fulfil their expectations, nor can you use 
strong measures with them, being under an obliga- 
tion to them ; for which reason, however strong 
your armies may be, you will always need the 
favour of the inhabitants to take possession of a 
province. It was from these causes that Louis XII. 
of France, though able to occupy Milan without 
trouble, immediately lost it, and the forces of 


Ludovico alone were sufficient to take it from him 
the first time, for the inhabitants who had willingly- 
opened their gates to him, finding themselves 
deluded in the hopes they had cherished and not 
obtaining those benefits that they had anticipated, 
could not bear the vexatious rule of their new prince. 
It is indeed true that, after reconquering the 
rebel territories they are not so easily lost again, 
for the ruler is now, by the fact of the rebellion, 
less averse to secure his position by punishing 
offenders, investigating any suspicious circumstances, 
and strengthening himself in weak places. So that 
although the mere appearance of such a person 
as Duke Ludovico on the frontier was sufficient to 
cause France to lose Milan the first time, to make 
her lose her grip of it the second time was only 
possible when all the world was against her, and 
after her enemies had been defeated and driven out 
of Italy ; which was the result of the causes above 
mentioned. Nevertheless it was taken from her 
both the first and the second time. The general 
causes of the first loss have been already discussed ; 
it remains now to be seen what were the causes of 
the second loss and by what means France could 
have avoided it, or what measures might have been 
taken by another ruler in that position which were 
not taken by the King of France. Be it observed, 
therefore, that those states which on annexation are 
united to a previously existing state may or may 
not be of the same nationality and language. If 
they are, it is very easy to hold them, especially if 
they are not accustomed to freedom ; and to possess 
them securely it suffices that the family of the 
princes which formerly governed them be extinct. 
For the rest, their old condition not being disturbed, 
and there being no dissimilarity of customs, the 
people settle down quietly under their new rulers, 
as is seen in the case of Burgundy, Brittany, 
Gascony, and Normandy, which have been so long 


united to France ; and although there may be some 
slight differences of language, the customs of the 
people are nevertheless similar, and they can get 
along well together, and whoever obtains possession 
of them and wishes to retain them must bear in 
mind two things : the one, that the blood of their 
old rulers is extinct ; the other, to make no altera- 
tion either in their laws or in their taxes ; in this 
way they will in a very short space of time become 
united with their old possessions and form one 
state. But when dominions are acquired in a 
province differing in language, laws, and customs, 
the difficulties to be overcome are great, and it 
requires good fortune as well as great industry to 
retain them ; one of the best and most certain 
means of doing so would be for the new ruler to 
take up his residence in them. This would render 
their possession more secure and durable, it is what 
the Turk has done in Greece ; in spite of all the 
other measures taken by him to hold that state, it 
would not have been possible to retain it had he 
not gone to live there. Being on the spot, dis- 
orders can be seen as they arise and can quickly 
be remedied, but living at a distance, they are only 
heard of when they get beyond remedy. Besides 
which, the province is not despoiled by your officials, 
the subjects are pleased with the easy accessibility 
of their prince ; and wishing to be loyal they have 
more reason to love him, and should they be other- 
wise they will have greater cause to fear him. 

Any external Power who wishes to assail that 
state will be less disposed to do so ; so that as long 
as he resides there he will be very hard to dis- 
possess. The other and better remedy is to plant 
colonies in one or two of those places which form 
as it were the keys of the land, for it is necessary 
either to do this or to maintain a large force of 
armed men. The colonies will cost the prince 
little ; with little or no expense on his part, he 


can send and maintain them ; he only injures 
those whose lands and houses are taken to give to 
the new inhabitants, and these form but a small 
proportion of the state, and those who are injured, 
remaining poor and scattered, can never do any harm 
to him, and all the others are, on the one hand, not 
injured and therefore easily pacified ; and, on the 
other, are fearful of offending lest they should be 
treated like those who have been dispossessed of 
their property. To conclude, these colonies cost 
nothing, are more faithful, and give less offence ; 
and the injured parties being poor and scattered 
are unable to do mischief, as I have shown. For 
it must be noted, that men must either be caressed 
or else annihilated ; they will revenge themselves 
for small injuries, but cannot do so for great ones ; 
the injury therefore that we do to a man must be 
such that we need not fear his vengeance. But by 
maintaining a garrison instead of colonists, one will 
spend much more, and consume in guarding it all 
the revenues of that state, so that the acquisition 
will result in a loss, besides giving much greater 
offence, since it injures every one in that state with 
the quartering of the army on it ; which being an 
inconvenience felt by all, every one becomes an 
enemy, and these are enemies which can do mischief, 
as, though beaten, they remain in their own homes. 
In every way, therefore, a garrison is as useless as 
colonies are useful. Further, the ruler of a foreign 
province as described, should make himself the 
leader and defender of his less powerful neighbours, 
and endeavour to weaken the stronger ones, and 
take care that his possessions are not entered by 
some foreigner not less powerful than himself, who 
will always intervene at the request of those who 
are discontented either through ambition or fear, 
as was seen when the ^Etoli invited the Romans into 
Greece ; and in whatever province they entered, it 
was always at the request of the inhabitants. And 


the rule is that when a powerful foreigner enters a 
province, all the less powerful inhabitants become 
his adherents, jnoved by the envy they bear to 
those ruling over them ; so much so that with 
regard to these minor potentates he has no trouble 
whatever in winning them over, for they willingly 
join forces with the state that he has acquired. 
He has merely to be careful that they do not 
assume too much power and authority, and he can 
easily with his own forces and their favour put 
down those that are powerful and remain in every- 
thing the arbiter of that province. And he who 
does not govern well in this way will soon lose 
what he has acquired, and while he holds it will 
meet with infinite difficulty and trouble. 

The Romans in the provinces they took, always 
followed this policy ; they established colonies, 
flattered the less powerful without increasing their 
strength, put down the most powerful and did not 
allow foreign rulers to obtain influence in them. 
I will let the single province of Greece suffice as 
an example. They made friends with the Achaei 
and the ^Etoli, the kingdom of Macedonia was 
cast down, and Antiochus driven out, nor did they 
allow the merits of the Achaei or the ^Etoli to 
gain them any increase of territory, nor did the 
persuasions of Philip induce them to befriend him 
without lowering him, nor could the power of 
Antiochus make them consent to allow him to hold 
any state in that province. 

For the Romans did in this case what all wise 
princes should do, who look not only at present 
dangers but also at future ones and diligently guard 
against them ; for being foreseen they can easily be 
remedied, but if one waits till they are at hand, the 
medicine is no longer in time as the malady has 
become incurable ; it happening with this as with 
those hectic fevers spoken of by doctors, which at 
their beginning are easy to cure but difficult to- 


recognise, but in course of time when they have 
not at first been recognised and treated, become 
easy to recognise and difficult to cure. Thus it 
happens in matters of state ; for knowing afar off 
(which it is only given to a prudent man to do) the 
evils that are brewing, they are easily cured. But 
when, for want of such knowledge, they are allowed 
to grow so that every one can recognise them, there 
is no longer any remedy to be found. However, 
the Romans, observing these disorders while yet 
remote, were always able to find a remedy, and 
never allowed them to proceed in order to avoid a 
war ; for they knew that war was not to be avoided, 
and could be deferred only to the advantage of the 
other side; they therefore declared war against 
Philip and Antiochus in Greece, so as not to have to 
fight them in Italy, though they might at the time 
have avoided either ; this they did not choose to do, 
never caring to do that which is now every day to 
be heard in the mouths of our wise men, to enjoy 
the benefits of time, but preferring those of their 
own virtue and prudence, for time brings with it all 
things, and may produce indifferently either good 
or evil. But let us return to France and examine 
whether she did any of these things ; and I will 
speak not of Charles, but of Louis as the one whose 
proceedings can be better seen, as he held posses- 
sion in Italy for a longer time ; you will then see 
that he did the opposite of all those things which 
must be done to keep possession of a foreign state. 
King Louis was called into Italy by the ambition 
of the Venetians, who wished by his coming to gam 
half of Lombardy. I will not blame the king for 
coming nor for the part he took, because wishing to 
plant his foot in Italy, and not having friends in 
the country, on the contrary the conduct of King 
Charles having caused all doors to be closed to him, 
he was forced to accept what friendships he could 
find, and his schemes would have quickly been 


successful if he had made no mistakes m his other 

The king then having acquired Lombardy re- 
gained immediately the reputation lost by Charles. 
Genoa yielded, the Florentines became his friends, 
the Marquis of Mantua, the Dukes of Ferrara and 
Bentivogli, the Lady of Furli, the Lords of Faenza, 
Pesaro, Rimini, Camerino, and Piombino, the 
inhabitants of Lucca, of Pisa, and of Sienna, all 
approached him with offers of friendship. The 
Venetians might then have seen the effects of their 
temerity, how to gain a few lands in Lombardy 
they had made the king ruler over two-thirds of 
Italy. Consider how little difficulty the king 
would have had in maintaining his reputation in 
Italy if he had observed the rules above given, and 
kept a firm and sure hold over all those friends of 
his, who being many in number, and weak, and 
fearful one of the Church, another of the Venetians, 
were always obliged to hold fast to him, and by 
whose aid he could easily make sure of any who 
were still great. But he was hardly in Milan 
before he did exactly the opposite, by giving aid to 
Pope Alexander to occupy the Romagna. Nor 
did he perceive that, in taking this course, he 
weakened himself, by casting off his friends and 
those who had placed themselves at his disposal, 
and strengthened the Church by adding to the 
spiritual power, which gives it such authority, 
further temporal powers. And having made the 
first mistake, he was obliged to follow it up, whilst, 
to put a stop to the ambition of Alexander and pre- 
vent him becoming ruler of Tuscany, he was forced 
to come to Italy. And not content with having 
increased the power of the Church and lost his 
friends, he now desiring the kingdom of Naples, 
divided it with the king of Spain ; and where he 
alone was the arbiter of Italy, he now brought in a 
companion, so that the ambitious of that province 


who were dissatisfied with him might have some one 
else to appeal to ; and where he might have left 
in that kingdom a king tributary to him, he dis- 
possessed him in order to bring in another who was 
capable of driving him out. The desire to acquire 
possessions is a very natural and ordinary thing, and 
when those men do it who can do so successfully, 
they are always praised and not blamed, but when 
they cannot and yet want to do so at all costs, they 
make a mistake deserving of great blame. If 
France, therefore, with her own forces could have 
taken Naples, she ought to have done so ; if she 
could not she ought not to have divided it. And 
if the partition of Lombardy with the Venetians is 
to be excused, as having been the means of allow- 
ing the French king to set foot in Italy, this other 
partition deserves blame, not having the excuse of 
necessity. Louis had thus made these five mistakes : 
he had crushed the smaller Powers, increased the 
power in Italy of one ruler, brought into the land 
a very powerful foreigner, and he had not come to 
live there himself, nor had he established any 
colonies. Still these mistakes might, if he had 
lived, not have injured him, had he not made the 
sixth, that of taking the state from the Venetians ; 
for, if he had not strengthened the Church and 
brought the Spaniards into Italy, it would have 
been right and necessary to humble them ; having 
once taken those measures, he ought never to have 
consented to their ruin ; because, had the Venetians 
been strong, it would have kept the others from 
making attempts on Lombardy, partly because the 
Venetians would not have consented to any measures 
by which they did not get it for themselves, and 
partly because the others would not have wanted to 
take it from France to give it to Venice, and would 
not have had the courage to attack both. 

If any one urges that King Louis yielded the 
Romagna to Alexander and the kingdom to Spain 


in order to avoid war, I reply, with the reasons 
already given, that one ought never to allow a dis- 
order to take place in order to avoid war, for war is 
not thereby avoided, but only deferred to your dis- 
advantage. And if others allege the promise given 
by the king to the pope to undertake that enter- 
prise for him, in return for the dissolution of his 
marriage and for the cardinalship of Rohan, I reply 
with what I shall say later on about the faith of 
princes and how it is to be observed. Thus King 
Louis lost Lombardy through not observing any of 
those conditions which have been observed by others 
who have taken provinces and wished to retain 
them. Nor is this any miracle, but very reasonable 
and natural. I spoke of this matter with Cardinal 
Rohan at Nantes when Valentine, as Cesare Borgia, 
son of Pope Alexander, was commonly called, was 
occupying the Romagna, for on Cardinal Rohan 
saying to me that the Italians did not understand 
war, I replied that the French did not understand 
politics, for if they did they would never allow the 
Church to become so great. And experience shows 
us that the greatness in Italy of the Church and 
also of Spain have been caused by France, and her 
ruin has proceeded from them. From which may be 
drawn a general rule, which never or very rarely 
fails, that whoever is the cause of another becoming 
powerful, is ruined himself ; for that power is pro- 
duced by him either through craft or force ; and 
both of these are suspected jby the one that has 
become powerful. 



CONSIDERING the difficulties there are in holding 
a newly acquired state, some may wonder how it 
came to pass that Alexander the Great became 
master of Asia in a few years, and had hardly 
occupied it when he died, from which it might be 
supposed that the whole state would have rebelled. 
However, his successors maintained themselves in 
possession, and had no further difficulty in doing 
so than those which arose among themselves from 
their own ambitions. 

I reply that the kingdoms known to history have 
been governed in two ways : either by a prince and 
his servants, who, as ministers by his grace and 
permission, assist in governing the realm ; or by a 
prince and by barons, who hold their positions not 
by favour of the ruler but by antiquity of blood. 
Such barons have states and subjects of their own, 
who recognise them as their lords, and are naturally 
attached to them. In those states which are governed 
by a prince and his servants, the prince possesses 
more authority, because there is no one in the state 
regarded as a superior besides himself, and if others 
are obeyed it is merely as ministers and officials of 
the prince, and no one regards them with any 


special affection. Examples of these two kinds of 
government in our own time are the Turk and the 
King of France. All the Turkish monarchy is 
governed by one ruler, the others are his servants, 
and dividing his kingdom into " sangiacates/' he 
sends to them various administrators, and changes 
or recalls them at his pleasure. But the King of 
France is surrounded by a large number of ancient 
nobles, recognised as such by their subjects, and 
loved by them ; they have their prerogatives, which 
the king cannot deprive them of without danger to 
himself. Whoever now considers these two states 
will see that it would be difficult to acquire the 
state of the Turk; but having conquered it, it 
would be very easy to hold it. 

The causes of the difficulty of occupying the 
Turkish kingdom are, that the invader could not 
be invited by princes of that kingdom, nor hope to 
facilitate his enterprise by the rebellion of those 
around him, as will be evident from reasons given 
above. Because, being all slaves, and bound, it 
will be more difficult to corrupt them, and even if 
they were corrupted, little effect could be hoped 
for, as they would not be able to carry the people 
with them for the reasons mentioned. Therefore, 
whoever assaults the Turk must be prepared to 
meet his united forces, and must rely more on his 
own strength than on the disorders of others ; but 
having once conquered him, and beaten him in 
battle so that he can no longer raise armies, nothing 
else is to be feared except the family of the prince, 
and if this is extinguished, there is no longer any 
one to be feared, the others having no credit with 
the people ; and as the victor before the victory 
could place no hope in them, so he need not 
fear them afterwards. The contrary is the case in 
kingdoms governed like that of France, because it is 
easy to enter them by winning over some baron of 
the kingdom, there being always some malcontents, 


and those desiring innovations. These can, for the 
reasons stated, open the way to you and facilitate 
victory ; but afterwards, if you wish to keep posses- 
sion, infinite difficulties arise, both from those who 
have aided you and from those you have oppressed. 
Nor is it sufficient to extinguish the family of the 
prince, for there remain those nobles who will make 
themselves the head of new changes, and being 
neither able to content them nor exterminate 
them, you will Jose the state whenever an occasion 
arises. Now if you will consider what was the 
nature of the government of Darius you will fma 
it similar to the kingdom of the Turk, and tnere- 
fore Alexander had first to completely overthrow it 
and seize the country, after which victory, Darius 
being dead, the state remained secure to Alexander, 
for the reasons discussed above. And his successors, 
had they remained united, might have enjoyed it 
in peace, nor did any tumults arise in the kingdom 
except those fomented by themselves. But it is 
impossible to possess with such ease countries con- 
stituted like France. 

Hence arose the frequent rebellions of Spain, 
France, and Greece against the Romans, owing to 
the numerous principalities which existed in those 
states ; for, as long as the memory of these lasted, 
the Romans were always uncertain of their pos- 
sessions ; but when the memory of these princi- 
palities had been extinguished they became, with 
the power and duration of the empire, secure pos- 

And afterwards the latter could, when fighting 
among themselves, draw each one with him a portion 
of these provinces, according to the authority he 
had established there, and these provinces, when 
the family of their ancient princes was extinct, 
recognised no other rulers but the Romans. Con- 
sidering these things, therefore, let no one be sur- 
prised at the facility with which Alexander could hold 


Asia, and at the difficulties that others have had in 
holding acquired possessions, like Pyrrhus and many 
others ; as this was not caused hy the greater or 
smaller ability of the conqueror, but depended on 
the dissimilarity of the conditions. 



WHEN those states which have heen acquired are 
accustomed to live at liberty under their own laws, 
there are three ways of holding them. The first is 
to ruin them ; the second is to go and live there in 
person ; the third is to allow them to live under 
their own laws, taking tribute of them, and creating 
there within the country a state composed of a few 
who will keep it friendly to you. Because this 
state, being created by the prince, knows that it 
cannot exist without his friendship and protection, 
and will do all it can to keep them, and a city used 
to liberty can be more easily held by means of its 
citizens than in any other way, if you wish to 
preserve it. There is the example of the Spartans 
and the Romans. The Spartans held Athens and 
Thebes by creating within them a state of a few 
people ; nevertheless they lost them. The Romans, 
in order to hold Capua, Carthage, and Numantia, 
destroyed them, but did not lose them. They 
wanted to hold Greece in almost the same way as 
the Spartans held it, leaving it free and under its 
own laws, but they did not succeed ; so that they 
were compelled to destroy many cities in that 
province in order to keep it, because in truth there 


is no sure method of holding them except by ruin- 
ing them. And whoever becomes the ruler of a 
free city and does not destroy it, can expect to be 
destroyed by it, for it can always find a motive for 
rebellion in the name of liberty and of its ancient 
usages, which are forgotten neither by lapse of 
time nor by benefits received, and whatever one 
does or provides, so long as the inhabitants are 
not separated or dispersed, they do not forget that 
name and those usages, but appeal to them at once 
in every emergency, as did Pisa after being so 
many years held in servitude by the Florentines. 
But when cities or provinces have been accustomed 
to live under a prince, and the family of that prince 
is extinguished, being on the one hand used to 
obey, ami on the other not having their old prince, 
they cannot unite in choosing one from among 
themselves, and they do not know how to live in 
freedom, so that they are slower to take arms, and 
a prince can win them over with greater facility 
and establish himself securely. But in republics 
there is greater life, greater hatred, and more 
desire for vengeance ; they do not and cannot cast 
aside the memory of their ancient liberty, so that 
the surest way is either to destroy them or reside 
in them. 



LET no one marvel if in speaking of new dominions 
both as to prince and state, I bring- forward very 
exalted instances, for as men walk almost always 
in the paths trodden by others, proceeding in their 
actions by imitation, and not being always able to 
follow others exactly, nor attain to the excellence 
of those they imitate, a prudent man should always 
follow in the path trodden by great men and 
imitate those who are most excellent, so that if he 
does not attain to their greatness, at any rate he 
will get some tinge of it. He will do like prudent 
archers, who when the place they wish to hit is too 
far off, knowing how far their bow will carry, aim 
at a spot much higher than the one they wish to 
hit, not in order to reach this height with their 
arrow, but by help of this high aim to hit the spot 
they wish to. I say then that in new dominions, 
where there is a new prince, it is more or less easy to 
hold them according to the greater or lesser ability 
of him who acquires them. And as the fact of a 
private individual becoming a prince presupposes 
either great ability or good fortune, it would appear 
that either of these things would mitigate in part 
many difficulties. Nevertheless those who have been 
wanting as regards good fortune have maintained 


themselves best. The matter is also facilitated by 
the prince being obliged to reside personally in his 
territory, having no others. But to come to those 
who have become princes through their own merits 
and not by fortune, I regard as the greatest, 

Cyrus. Romulus, Tbqseus. and such like. And 
although one should not speak of Moses, he having 
merely carried out what was ordered him by God, 
still he deserves admiration, if only for that grace 
which made him worthy to speak with God. Cut 
regarding Cyrus and others who have acquired or 
founded kingdoms, they will all be found worthy 
of admiration ; and if their particular actions and 
methods are examined they will not appear very 
different from those of Moses, although he had so 
great a Master. And in examining their life and 
deeds it will be seen that they owed nothing to 
fortune but the opportunity which gave them matter 
to be shaped into the form that they thought fit ; 
and without that opportunity their powers would 
have been wasted, and without their powers the 
opportunity would have come in vain. It was thus 
necessary that Moses should find the people of Israel 
slaves in Egypt and oppressed by the Egyptians, so 
that they were disposed to follow him in order to 
escape from their servitude. It was necessary that 
Romulus should be unable to remain in Alba, and 
should have been exposed at his birth, in order 
that he might become King of Rome and founder 
of that nation. It was necessary that Cyrus should 
find the Persians discontented with the empire of 
the Medes, and the Medes weak and effeminate 
through long peace. Theseus could not have 
showed his abilities if he had not found the 
Athenians dispersed. 

These opportunities, therefore, gave these men 
their chance, and their own great qualities enabled 
them to profit by them, so as to ennoble their 
country and augment its fortunes. Those who by 


heroic means such as these hecome princes, ohtain 
their dominions with difficulty but retain them 
easily, and the difficulties which they have in ac- 
quiring their dominions arise in part from the new 
rules and regulations that they have to introduce 
in order to establish their position securely. It 
must be considered that there is nothing more 
difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, 
nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a 
new order of things. For the reformer has enemies 
in all those who profit by the old order, and only 
lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit 
by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly 
from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in 
their favour ; and partly from the incredulity of 
mankind, who do not truly believe in anything 
new until they have had actual experience of it. 
Thus it arises that on every opportunity for attack- 
ing the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal 
of partisans, the others only defend him half- 
heartedly, so that between them he runs great 
danger. ' It is necessary, however, in order to 
investigate thoroughly this question, to examine 
whether these innovators are independent, or 
whether they depend upon others, that is to say, 
whether in order to carry out their designs they 
have to entreat or are able to force. In the first 
case they invariably succeed ill, and accomplish 
nothing ; but when they can depend on their own 
strength and are able to use force, they rarely fail. 
Thus it comes about that all armed prophets have 
conquered and unarmed ones failed ; for besides 
what has been already said, the character of people 
varies, and it is easy to persuade them of a thing, 
but difficult to keep them in that persuasion. And 
so it is necessary to order things so that when they 
no longer believe, they can be made to believe by 
force. Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus would 
not have been able to make their institutions 


observed for so long had they been disarmed, as 
happened in our own time to Fra Girolamo 
Savonarola, who failed entirely in his new rules 
when the multitude began to disbelieve in him, 
and he had no means of holding fast those who 
had believed nor of compelling the unbelievers to 
believe. Therefore such men as these have great 
difficulty in making their way, and all their dangers 
are met on the road and must be overcome by their 
own abilities ; but when once they have overcome 
them and have begun to be held in veneration, 
and have suppressed those who envied them, they 
remain powerful and secure, honoured and happy. 
To the high examples given I will add a lesser one, 
which, however, is to be compared in some measure 
with them and will serve as an instance of all such 
cases, that of Jerone of Syracuse, who from a 
private individual became Prince of Siracusa, with- 
out other aid from fortune beyond the opportunity ; 
for the Siracusans being oppressed elected him as 
their captain, from which by merit he was made 
prince ; while still in private life his virtues were 
such that it was written of him, that he lacked 
nothing to reign but the kingdom. He abolished 
the old militia, raised a new one, abandoned his 
old friendships and formed new ones; and as he 
had thus friends and soldiers of his own, he was 
able on this foundation to build securely, so that 
while he had great trouble in acquiring his position 
he had little in maintaining it. 



THOSE who rise from private citizens to be princes 
merely by fortune have little trouble in rising- but 
very much in maintaining their position. They 
meet with no difficulties on the way as they fly 
over them, but all their difficulties arise when 
they are established. Such are they who are 
granted a state either for money, or by favour of 
him who grants it, as happened to many in Greece, 
in the cities of Ionia and of the Hellespont, who 
were created princes by Darius in order to hold 
these places for his security and glory ; such were 
also those emperors who from private citizens 
became emperors by bribing the army. Such as 
these depend absolutely on the good will and 
fortune of those who have raised them, both of 
which are extremely inconstant and unstable. 
They neither know how to, nor are in a position to 
maintain their rank, for unless he be a man of 
great genius it is not likely that one who has always 
lived in a private position should know how to 
command, and they are unable to command because 
they possess no forces which will be friendly and 
faithful to them. Moreover, states quickly founded, 
like all other things which are born and grow 
rapidly, cannot have deep roots, so that the first 


storm destroys them, unless, as already said, the 
man who thus becomes a prince is of such great] 
genius as to be able to take immediate steps for| 
maintaining what fortune has thrown into his lap,! 
and lay afterwards those foundations which others| 
make before becoming princes. With regard ta 
these two methods of becoming a prince, by ability 
or by good fortune, I will here adduce two examples 
which have taken place within our memory, those 
of Francesco Sforza and Cesare Borgia. 

Francesco, by appropriate means and through great 
abilities, from citizen became Duke of Milan, and 
what he had attained after a thousand difficulties he 
maintained with little trouble. On the other hand, 
Cesare Borgia, commonly called Duke Valentine, 
acquired the state through the fortune of his father 
and by the same means lost it, and that although 
every measure was adopted by him and everything 
done that a prudent and capable man could do to 
establish himself firmly in that state that the arms 
and the favours of others had given him. For, as 
we have said, he who does not lay his foundations 
beforehand may by great abilities do so afterwards, 
although with great trouble to the architect and 
danger to the building. If, then, one considers the 
progress made by the duke, it will be seen how 
firm were the foundations he had laid to his future 
power, which I do not think it superfluous to 
examine, as I know of no better precepts for a new 
prince to follow than the example of his actions ; 
and if his measures were not successful, it was 
through no fault of his own but only by the most 
extraordinary malignity of fortune. In wishing to 
aggrandise the duke his son, Alexander VI. had to 
meet very great difficulties both present and future. 
In the first place, he saw no way of making him 
ruler of any state that was not a possession of the 
Church. And in attempting to take that of the 
Church, he knew that the Duke of Milan and the 


Venetians would not consent, because Faenza and 
Rimini were already under the protection of the 
Venetians. He saw, moreover, that the arms of 
Italy, especially of those who might have served 
him, were in the hands of those who would fear the 
greatness of the pope, and therefore he could not 
depend upon them, being all under the Orsinis and 
Colonnas and their adherents. It was, therefore, 
necessary to disturb the existing condition and 
bring about disorders in the states of Italy in order 
to obtain secure mastery over a part of them ; this 
was easy, for he found the Venetians, who, actuated 
by other motives, had invited the French into Italy, 
which he not only did not oppose, but facilitated 
by dissolving the marriage of King Louis. The 
king came thus into Italy with the aid of the 
Venetians and the consent of Alexander, and had 
hardly arrived at Milan before the pope obtained 
troops from him for his enterprise in the Romagna, 
which he carried out by means of the reputation of 
the king. The duke having thus obtained the 
Romagna and defeated the Colonnas, was hindered 
in maintaining it and proceeding further by two 
things : the one, his forces, of which he doubted 
the fidelity ; the other the will of France, that is to 
say, he feared lest the arms of the Orsini of which 
he had availed himself should fail him, and not only 
hinder him in obtaining more but take from him 
what he had already conquered, and he also 
feared that the king might do the same. He had 
evidence of this as regards the Orsini when, after 
taking Faenza, he assaulted Bologna and observed 
their backwardness in the assault. And as regards 
the king, he perceived his designs when, after 
taking the dukedom of Urbino, he attacked 
Tuscany, and the king made him desist from that 
enterprise ; whereupon the duke decided to depend 
no longer on the fortunes and arms of others. 
The first thing he did was to weaken the parties of 


the Orsinis and Colonnas in Rome by gaining all 
their adherents who were gentlemen and making 
them followers of himself, by granting them large 
pensions, and appointing them to commands and 
offices according to their rank, so that their attach- 
ment to their parties was extinguished in a few 
months, and entirely concentrated on the duke. 
After this he awaited an opportunity for crushing 
the Orsinis, having dispersed the adherents of the 
Colonna family, and when the opportunity arrived 
he made good use of it, for the Orsini seeing at 
length that the greatness of the duke and of the 
Church meant their own ruin, convoked a diet at 
Magione in the Perugino. Hence sprang the 
rebellion of Urbino and the tumults in Romagna 
and infinite dangers to the duke, who overcame 
them all with the help of the French ; and having 
regained his reputation, neither trusting France nor 
other foreign forces in order not to have to oppose 
them, he had recourse to stratagem. He dissembled 
his aims so well that the Orsini, through the media- 
tion of Signor Pavolo, made their peace with him, 
which the duke spared no efforts to make secure, 
presenting them with robes, money, and horses, so 
that in their simplicity they were induced to come 
to Sinigaglia and fell into his hands. Having thus 
suppressed these leaders and made their partisans 
his friends, the duke had laid a very good founda- 
tion to his power, having all the Romagna with the 
duchy of Urbino, and having gained the favour of 
the inhabitants, who began to feel the benefit of his 
rule. And as this part is worthy of note and of 
imitation by others, I will not omit mention of it. 
When he took the Romagna, it had previously 
been governed by weak rulers,- who had rather 
despoiled their subjects than governed them, and 
given them more cause for disunion than for union, 
so that the province was a prey to robbery, assaults, 
and every kind of disorder. He, therefore, judged 


it necessary to give them a good government in 
order to make them peaceful and obedient to his 
rule. For this purpose he appointed Messer 
Remiro d' Oreo, a cruel and able man, to whom he 
gave the fullest authority. This man, in a short 
time, was highly successful in rendering the country 
orderly and united, whereupon the duke, not 
deeming such excessive authority expedient, lest 
it should become hateful, appointed a civil court 
of justice in the middle of the province under an 
excellent president, to which each city appointed 
its own advocate. And as he knew that the harsh- 
ness of the past had engendered some amount of 
hatred, in order to purge the minds of the people 
and to win them over completely, he resolved to 
show that if any cruelty had taken place it was not 
by his orders, but through the harsh disposition of 
his minister. And taking him on some pretext, 
he had him placed one morning in the public 
square at Cesena, cut in half, with a piece of wood 
and blood-stained knife by his side. The ferocity 
of this spectacle caused the people both satisfaction 
and amazement. But to return to where we left off. 
The duke being now powerful and partly secured 
against present perils, being armed himself, and 
having in a great measure put down those neigh- 
bouring forces which might injure him, had now to 
get the respect of France, if he wished to proceed 
with his acquisitions, for he knew that the king, 
who had lately discovered his error, would not give 
him any help. He began therefore to seek fresh 
alliances and to vacillate with France in the 
expedition that the French made towards the 
kingdom of Naples against the Spaniards, who were 
besieging Gaeta. His intention was to assure 
himself of them, which he would soon have suc- 
ceeded in doing if Alexander had lived. These 
were the measures taken by him with regard to the 
present. As to the future, he feared that a new 


successor to the Church might not be friendly 
to him and might seek to deprive him of what 
Alexander had given him, and he sought to provide 
against this in four ways. Firstly, by destroying 
all who were of the blood of those ruling families 
which he had despoiled, in order to deprive the pope 
of any opportunity. Secondly, by gaining the 
friendship of the Roman nobles, so that he might 
through them hold as it were the pope in check. 
Thirdly, by obtaining as great a hold on the College 
as he could. Fourthly, by acquiring such power 
before the pope died as to be able to resist alone 
the first onslaught. Of these four things he had at 
the death of Alexander accomplished three, and the 
fourth he had almost accomplished. 

For of the dispossessed rulers he killed as many 
as he could lay hands on, and very few escaped; he 
had gained to his party the Roman nobles ; and he 
had a great share in the College. As to new 
possessions, he designed to become lord of Tuscany, 
and already possessed Perugia and Piombino, and 
had assumed the protectorate over Pisa ; and as he 
had no longer to fear the French (for the French 
had been deprived of the kingdom of Naples by the 
Spaniards in such a way that both parties were 
obliged to buy his friendship) he seized Pisa. After 
this, Lucca and Siena at once yielded, partly 
through envy of the Florentines and partly through 
fear ; the Florentines had no resources, so that, had 
he succeeded as he had done before, in the very year 
that Alexander died he would have gained such 
strength and renown as to be able to maintain him- 
self without depending on the fortunes or strength 
of others, but solely by his own power and ability. 
But Alexander died five years after he had first 
drawn his sword. He left him with the state of 
Romagna only firmly established, and all the 
other schemes in mid-air, between two very power- 
ful and hostile armies, and suffering from a fatal 


illness. But the valour and ability of the duke 
were such, and he knew so well how to win over 
men or vanquish them, and so strong were the 
foundations that he had laid in this short time, that 
if he had not had those two armies upon him, or else 
had been in good health, he would have survived 
every difficulty. And that his foundations were good 
is seen from the fact that the Romagna waited for him 
more than a month ; in Rome, although half dead, 
he remained secure, and although the Baglioni, 
Vitelli, and Orsini entered Rome they found no 
followers against him. He was able, if not to make 
pope whom he wished, at any rate to prevent a pope 
being created whom he did not wish. But if at the 
death of Alexander he had been well everything 
would have been easy. And he told me on the day 
that Pope Julius II. was created, that he had thought 
of evei ything which might happen on the death of 
his father, and provided against everything, except 
that he had never thought that at his father's death 
he would be dying himself. Reviewing thus all the 
actions of the duke, I find nothing to blame, on the 
contrary, I feel bound, as I have done, to hold him 
up as an example to be imitated by all who by 
fortune and with the arms of others have risen to 
power. For with his great courage and high ambition 
he could not have acted otherwise, and his designs 
were only frustrated by the short life of Alexander 
and his own illness. 

Whoever, therefore, deems it necessary in his new 
principality to secure himself against enemies, to 
gain friends, to conquer by force or fraud, to make 
himself beloved and feared by the people, followed 
and reverenced by the soldiers, to destroy those 
who can and may injure him, introduce innovations 
into old customs, to be severe and kind, magnani- 
mous and liberal, suppress the old militia, create a 
new one, maintain the friendship of kings and 
princes in such a way that they are glad to benefit 


him and fear to injure him, such a one can find no 
better example than the actions of this man. The 
only thing he can be accused of is that in* the 
creation of Julius II. he made a bad choice ; for, as 
has been said, not being able to choose his own pope, 
he could still prevent any one being made pope, 
and he ought never to have permitted any of those 
cardinals to be raised to the papacy whom he had 
injured, or who when pope would stand in fear of 
him. For men commit injuries either through fear 
or through hate. 

Those whom he had injured were, among others, 
San Pietro ad Vincula, Colonna, San Giorgio, and 
Ascanio. All the others, if assumed to the ponti- 
ficate, would have had to fear him except Rohan 
and the Spaniards ; the latter through their re- 
lationship and obligations to him, the former 
from his great power, being related to the King of 
France. For these reasons the duke ought above 
all things to have created a Spaniard pope ; and if 
unable to, then he should have consented to Rohan 
being appointed and not San Pietro ad Vincula. 
And whoever thinks that in high personages new 
benefits cause old offences to be forgotten, makes a 
great mistake. The duke, therefore, erred in this 
choice, and it was the cause of his ultimate ruin. 



BUT as there are still two ways of becoming prince 
which cannot be attributed entirely either to fortune 
or to ability, they must not be passed over, although 
one of them could be more fully discussed if we 
were treating of republics. These are when one 
becomes prince by some nefarious or villainous 
means, or when a private citizen becomes the prince 
of his country through the favour of his fellow- 
citizens. And in speaking of the former means, 
I will give two examples, one ancient, the other 
modern, without entering further into the merits 
of this method, as I judge them to be sufficient for 
any one obliged to imitate them. Agathocles the 
Sicilian rose not only from private life but from 
the lowest and most abject position to be King of 
Syracuse. The son of a potter, he led a life of the 
utmost wickedness through all the stages of his 
fortune. Nevertheless, his wickedness was accom- 
panied by such vigour of mind and body that, having 
joined the militia, he rose through all its grades to 
be praetor of Syracuse. Having been appointed to 
this position, and having decided to become prince, 
and to hold with violence and without the support 
of others that which had been granted him ; and 
having imparted his design to Hamilcar the Car- 


thaginian, who with his armies was fighting in 
Sicily, he called together one morning the people 
and senate of Syracuse, as if he had to deliberate 
on matters of importance to the republic, and at a 
given signal had all the senators and the richest 
men of the people killed by his soldiers ; after their 
death he occupied and held rule over the city 
without any civil disorders. And although he was 
twice beaten by the Carthaginians and ultimately 
besieged, he was able not only to defend the city, 
but leaving a portion of his forces for its defence, 
with the remainder he invaded Africa, and in a 
short time liberated Syracuse from the siege and 
Drought the Carthaginians to great extremities, so 
that they were obliged to come to terms with him, 
and remain contented with the possession of Africa, 
leaving Sicily to Agathocles. Whoever considers, 
therefore, the actions and qualities of this man, 
will see few if any things which can be attributed 
to fortune ; for, as above stated, it was not by the 
favour of any person, but through the grades of 
the militia, which he had gained with a thousand 
hardships and perils, that he arrived at the position 
of prince, which he afterwards maintained by so 
many courageous and perilous expedients. It can- 
not be called a virtue to kill one's fellow-citizens, 
betray one's friends, be without faith, without pity, 
and without religion, by which methods one may 
indeed gain an empire, but not glory. For if the 
and his greatness of soul in supporting and sur- 
mounting obstacles be considered, one sees no reason 
for holding him inferior to any of the most renowned 
captains. Nevertheless his barbarous cruelty and 
inhumanity, together with his countless atrocities, 
do not permit of his being named among the most 
famous men. We cannot attribute to fortune or 
merit that which he achieved without either. In 
our own times, during the reign of Alexander VI., 



Oliverotto du Fermo had been left a young boy 
under the care of his maternal uncle, Giovanni 
Fogliani, who brought him up, and sent him in 
early youth to fight under Paolo Vitelli, in order 
that he might, under that discipline, obtain a 
good military position. On the death of Paolo he 
fought under his brother Vitellozzo, and in a very 
short time, being of great intelligence, and active in 
mind and body, he became one of the leaders of 
his troops. But deeming it servile to be under 
others, he resolved, with the help of some citizens 
of Fermo, who preferred servitude to the liberty of 
their country, and with the favour of the Vitellis, 
to occupy Fermo; he therefore wrote to Giovanni 
Fogliaui, how, having been for many years away 
from home, he wished to come to see him and his 
city, and in some measure to revisit his estates. 
And as he had only laboured to gain honour, in 
order that his fellow-citizens might see that he 
had not spent his time in vain, he wished to come 
honourably accompanied by one hundred horsemen, 
his friends and followers, and prayed him that he 
would be pleased to order that he should be 
received with honour by the citizens of Fermo, by 
which he would honour not only him, Oliverotto, 
but also himself, as he had been his pupil. 
Giovanni did not fail in any duty towards his 
nephew ; he caused him to* be honourably received 
by the people of Fermo, and lodged him in his 
own houses. After waiting some days to arrange 
all that was necessary to his villainous projects, 
Oliverotto invited Giovanni Fogliani and all the 
principal men of Fermo to a grand banquet. After 
the dinner and the entertainments usual at such 
feasts, Oliverotto artfully introduced certain im- 
portant matters of discussion, speaking of the 
greatness of Pope Alexander, and of his sou Cesare, 
and of their enterprises. To which discourses 
Giovanni and others having replied, he all at once 


rose, saying that these matters should be spoken of 
in a more secret place, and withdrew into a room 
where Giovanni and the other citizens followed him. 
They were no sooner seated than soldiers rushed 
out of hiding-places and killed Giovanni and all the 
others. After which massacre Oliverotto mounted 
his horse, rode through the town and besieged the 
chief magistrate in his palace, so that through fear 
they were obliged to obey him and form a govern- 
ment, of which he made himself prince. And all 
those being dead who, if discontented, could injure 
him, he fortified himself with new orders, civil and 
military, in such a way that within the year that 
he held the principality he was not only safe him- 
self in the city of Fermo, but had become formid- 
able to all his neighbours. And his overthrow 
would have been difficult, like that of Agathocles, if 
he had not allowed himself to be deceived by Cesare 
Borgia, when he besieged the Orsinis and Vitellis 
at Sinigaglia, as already related, where he also was 
taken, one year after the parricide he had committed, 
and strangled, together with Vitellozzo, who had 
been his teacher in ability and atrocity. Some may 
wonder how it came about that Agathocles, and others 
like him, could, after infinite treachery and cruelty, 
live secure for many years in their country and 
defend themselves from external enemies without 
being conspired against by their subjects ; although 
many others have, through their cruelty, been 
unable to maintain their position in times of peace, 
not to speak of the uncertain times of war. 

I believe this arises from the cruelties being used 
well or badly. Well used may be called those (if it 
is permissible to use the word well of evil) which are 
committed once for the need of securing one's self, 
and which afterwards are not persisted in, but are 
exchanged for measures as useful to the subjects as 
possible. Cruelties ill used are those which , although 
at first few, increase rather than diminish with 


time. Those who follow the former method may 
remedy in some measure their condition, both with 
God and man ; as did Agathocles. As to the others, 
it is impossible for them to maintain themselves. 
Whence it is to be noted, that in taking a state 
the conqueror must arrange to commit all his 
cruelties at once, so as not to have to recur to them 
every day, and so as to be able, by not making fresh 
changes, to reassure people and win them over by 
benefiting them. Whoever acts otherwise, either 
through timidity or bad counsels, is always obliged 
to stand with knife in hand, and can never depend 
on his subjects, because they, through continually 
fresh injuries, are unable to depend upon him. 
For injuries should be done all together, so that 
being less tasted, they will give less offence. 
Benefits should be granted little by little, so that 
they may be better enjoyed. And above all, a prince 
must live with his subjects in such a way that no 
accident should make him change it, for good or 
fevil ; for necessity arising in adverse times, you are 
;not in time with severity, and the good that you 
,do does not profit you, as it is judged to be forced, 
land you will derive no benefit whatever from it. 



BUT we now come to the case where a citizen 
becomes prince not through crime or intolerable 
violence, but by the favour of his fellow-citizens, 
which may be called a civic principality. To 
arrive at this position depends not entirely oa 
worth or entirely on fortune, but rather on cunning' 
assisted by fortune. One attains it by help of 
popular favour or by the favour of the aristocracy. 
For in every city these two opposite parties are to- 
be found, arising from the desire of the populace ta 
avoid the oppression of the great, and the desire of 
the great to command and oppress the people. 
And from these two opposing interests arises in the- 
city one of three effects : either absolute govern- 
ment, liberty, or license. The former is created 
either by the populace or the nobility depending 
on the relative opportunities of the two parties ; for 
when the nobility see that they are unable to resist 
the people they unite in creating one of their 
number prince, so as to be able to carry out their 
own designs under the shadow of his authority. 
The populace, on the other hand, when unable to 
resist the nobility, endeavour to create a prince in 
order to be protected by his authority. He who 
becomes prince by help of the nobility has greater 
difficulty in maintaining his power than he who is 


raised by the populace, for he is surrounded by 
those who think themselves his equals, and is thus 
unable to direct or command as he pleases. But 
one who is raised to the leadership by popular 
favour finds himself alone, and has no one or very 
few who are not ready to obey him. Besides 
which, it is impossible to satisfy the nobility by 
fair dealing and without inflicting injury on others, 
whereas it is very easy to satisfy the mass of the 
people in this way. For the aim of the people is 
more honest than that of the nobility, the latter 
desiring to oppress, and the former merely to avoid 
oppression. It must also be added that the prince 
can never insure himself against a hostile populace 
on account of their number, but he can against the 
hostility of the great, as they are but few. The 
worst that a prince has to expect from a hostile 
people is to be abandoned, but from hostile nobles 
ne has to fear not only abandonment but their 
active opposition, and as they are more far-seeing 
and more cunning, they are always in time to save 
themselves and take sides with the one who they 
expect will conquer. The prince is, moreover, 
obliged to live always with the same people, but he 
can easily do without the same nobility, being able 
to make and unmake them at any time, and increase 
their position or deprive them of it as he pleases. 
And to throw further light on this part, I would 
say, that the nobles are to be considered in two 
different manners ; that is, they are either to be ruled 
so as to make them entirely depend on your fortunes, 
or else not. Those that are thus bound to you and 
are not rapacious, must be honoured and loved ; 
those who are not bound must be considered in 
two ways, they either do this through pusillanimity 
and natural want of courage, and in this case you 
ought to make use of them, and especially such as 
are of good counsel, so that they may honour you 
in prosperity and in adversity you have not to fear 


them. But when they are not bound to you of set 
purpose and for ambitious ends, it is a sign that 
they think more of themselves than of you ; and 
from such men the prince must guard himself and 
look upon them as secret enemies, who will help to 
ruin him when in adversity. One, however, who 
becomes prince by favour of the populace, must 
maintain its friendship, which he will lind easy, the 
people asking nothing but not to be oppressed. 
But one who against the people's wishes becomes 
prince by favour of the nobles, should above all 
endeavour to gain the favour of the people ; this 
will be easy to him if he protects them. And as 
men, who receive good from those they expected 
evil from, feel under a greater obligation to their 
benefactor, so the subject populace will become 
even better disposed towards him than if he had 
become prince through their favour. The prince 
can win their favour in many ways, which vary 
according to circumstances, for which no certain 
rule can be given, and will therefore be passed over. 
I will only say, in conclusion, that it is necessary 
for a prince to possess the friendship of the people ; 
otherwise he has no resource in times of adversity. 
Nabis, prince of the Spartans, sustained a siege 
by the whole of Greece and a victorious Roman 
army, and defended against them his country and 
maintained his own position. It sufficed when the 
danger arose for him to make sure of a few, which 
would not have been enough if the populace had 
been hostile to him. And let no one oppose my 
opinion in this by quoting the trite proverb, ' ' He 
who builds on the people, builds on mud " ; because 
that is true when a private citizen relies upon the 
people and persuades himself that they will liberate 
him if he is oppressed by enemies or by the magis- 
trates ; in this case he might often find himself 
deceived, as happened in Rome to the Gracchi and 
in Florence to Messer Georgio Scali. 


But when it is a prince who founds himself on 
this basis,, one who can command and is a man of 
courage, and does not get frightened in adversity, 
and does not neglect other preparations, and one 
who by his own courage and measures animates 
the mass of the people, he will not find himself 
deceived by them, and he will find that he has laid 
his foundations well. Usually these principalities 
are in danger when the prince from the position oi 
a civil ruler changes to an absolute one, for these 
princes either command themselves or by means 
of magistrates. In the latter case their position 
is weaker and more dangerous, for they are at 
the mercy of those citizens who are appointed 
magistrates, who can, especially in times of 
adversity, with great facility deprive them of their 
position, either by acting against them or by not 
obeying them. The prince is not in time, in such 
dangers, to assume absolute authority, for the 
citizens and subjects who are accustomed to take 
their orders from the magistrates are not ready in 
these emergencies to obey his, and he will always 
in doubtful times lack men whom he can rely on. 
Such a prince cannot base himself on what he sees 
in quiet times, when the citizens have need of the 
state ; for then every one is full of promises and 
each one is ready to die for him when death is far 
off ; but in adversity, when the state has need of 
citizens, then he will find but few. And this 
experience is the more dangerous, in that it can 
only be had once. Therefore a wise prince will 
seek means by which his subjects will always and in 
every possible condition of things have need of his 
government, and then they will always be faithful 
to him. 



IN examining the character of these principalities 
it is necessary to consider another point, namely, 
whether the prince has such a position as to be 
able in case of need to maintain himself alone, or 
whether he has always need of the protection of 
others. The better to explain this I would say, 
that I consider those capable of maintaining them- 
selves alone who can, through abundance of men or 
money, put together a sufficient army, and hold 
the field against any one who assails them ; and I 
consider to have need of others, those who cannot 
take the field against their enemies, but are obliged 
to take refuge within their walls and stand on the 
defensive. We have already discussed the former 
case and will speak in future of it as occasion arises. 
In the second case there is nothing to be said 
except to encourage such a prince to provision and 
fortify his own town, and not to trouble about the 
country. And whoever has strongly fortified his 
town and, as regards the government of his sub- 
jects, has proceeded as we have already described 
and will further relate, will be attacked with great 
reluctance, for men are always averse to enterprises 
in which they foresee difficulties, and it can never 
appear easy to attack one who has his town well 


guarded and is not hated by the people. The 
cities of Germany are extremely liberal, have little 
surrounding country, and obey the emperor when 
they choose, and they do not fear him or any other 
potentate that they have about them. They are 
fortified in such a manner that every one thinks 
that to reduce them would be tedious and difficult, 
for they all have the necessary moats and bastions, 
sufficient artillery, and always keep in the public 
storehouses food and drink and fuel for one year. 
Beyond which, to keep the lower classes satisfied, 
and without loss to the public, they have always 
enough means to give them work for one year in 
these employments which form the nerve and life 
of the town, and in the industries by which the 
lower classes live ; military exercises are still held 
in reputation, and many regulations are in force 
for maintaining them. 'A prince, therefore, who 
possesses a strong city and does not make himself 
hated, cannot be assaulted ; and if he were to be 
so, the assailant would be obliged to retire shame- 
fully ; for so many things change, that it is almost 
impossible for any one to hold the field for a year 
with his armies idle. And to those who urge that 
the people, having their possessions outside and 
seeing them burnt, will not have patience, and 
the long siege and self-interest will make them 
forget their prince, I reply that a powerful and 
courageous prince will always overcome those 
difficulties by now raising the hopes of his subjects 
that the evils will not last long, now impressing 
them with fear of the enemy's cruelty, now by 
dextrously assuring himself of those who appear 
too bold. Besides which, the enemy would naturally 
burn and ruin the country on first arriving and in 
the time when men's minds are still hot and eager 
to defend themselves, and therefore the prince has 
still less to fear, for after some days, when people 
have cooled down, the damage is done, the evil has 


been suffered, and there is no remedy, so that they 
are the more ready to unite with their prince, as it 
appears that he is under an obligation to them, 
their houses having been burnt and their possessions 
ruined in his defence. 

It is the nature of men to be us much bound by 
the benefits that they confer as by those they receive. 
From which it follows that, everything considered, 
a prudent prince will not find it difficult to uphold 
the courage of his subjects both at the commence- 
ment and during a state of siege, if he possesses 
provisions and means to defend himself. 



IT now remains to us only to speak of ecclesiastical 
principalities, with regard to which the difficulties 
lie wholly before they are possessed. They are 
acquired either by ability or by fortune; but are 
maintained without either, for they are sustained 
by the ancient religious customs, which are so 
powerful and of such quality, that they keep their 
princes in power in whatever manner they proceed 
and live. These alone have a state without defend- 
ing it, have subjects without governing them, and 
the states, not being defended, are not taken from 
them ; the subjects not being governed do not 
disturb themselves, and neither think of nor are 
capable of alienating themselves from them. Only 
these principalities, therefore, are secure and happy. 
But as they are upheld by higher causes, which the 
human mind cannot attain to, I will abstain from 
speaking of them ; for being exalted and maintained 
by God, it would be the work of a presumptuous 
and foolish man to discuss them. 

However, I might be asked how it has come about 
that the Church has reached such great temporal 
power, when, previous to Alexander VI. , the Italian 
potentates, and not merely the really powerful 
ones, but every lord or baron, however insignificant, 
held it in slight esteem as regards temporal power ; 


whereas now it is dreaded by a king of France, 
whom it has been able to drive out of Italy, and 
has also been able to ruin the Venetians. There- 
fore, although this is well known, I do not think 
it superfluous to call it to mind. Before Charles, 
King of France, came into Italy, this country was 
under the rule of the pope, the Venetians, the 
King of Naples, the Duke of Milan, and the 
Florentines. These potentates had to have two 
chief cares : one, that no foreigner should enter 
Italy by force of arms, the other that none of the 
existing governments should extend its dominions. 
Those chiefly to be watched were the pope and the 
Venetians. To keep back the Venetians required 
the ruin of all the others, as in the defence of 
Ferrara, and to keep down the pope they made 
use of the Roman barons. These were divided into 
two factions, the Orsinis and the Colonnas, and as 
there was constant quarrelling between them, and 
they were constantly under arms, before the eyes 
of the pope, they kept the papacy weak and infirm. 
And although there arose now and then a resolute 
pope like Sextus, yet his fortune or ability was 
never able to liberate him from these evils. The 
shortness of their life was the reason of this, for in 
the course of ten years which, as a general rule, a 
pope lived, he had great difficulty in suppressing 
even one of the factions, and if, for example, a 
pope had almost put down the Colonnas, a new 
pope would succeed who was hostile to the Orsinis, 
which caused the Colonnas to spring up again, and 
he was not in time to suppress them. This caused 
the temporal power of the pope to be of little 
esteem in Italy. 

Then arose Alexander VI. who, of all the pontiffs 
who have ever reigned, best showed how a pope 
might prevail both by money and by force. With 
Duke Valentine as his instrument, and on the 
occasion of the French invasion, he did all that I 


have previously described in speaking of the actions 
of the duke. And although his object was to 
aggrandise not the Church but the duke, what he 
did resulted in the aggrandisement of the Church, 
which after the death of the duke became the 
heir of his labours. Then came Pope Julius, who 
found the Church powerful, possessing all Romagna, 
all the Roman barons suppressed, and the factions 
destroyed by the severity of Alexander, He also 
found the way open for accumulating wealth in 
ways never used before the time of Alexander. 
These measures were not only followed by Julius, 
but increased ; he resolved to gain Bologna, put 
down the Venetians and drive the French from 
Italy, in all which enterprises he was successful. 
He merits the greater praise, as he did everything 
to increase the power of the Church and not of 
any private person. He also kept the Orsini and 
Colonna parties in the conditions in which he 
found them, and although there were some leaders 
among them who might have made changes, there 
were two things that kept them steady : one, the 
greatness of the Church, which they dreaded ; the 
other, the fact that they had no cardinals, who are 
the origin of the tumults among them. For these 
parties are never at rest when they have cardinals. 
for these stir up the parties both within Rome and 
outside, and the barons are forced to defend them. 
Thus from the ambitions of prelates arise the dis- 
cords and tumults among the barons. His holiness, 
Pope Leo X. , therefore, has found the pontificate in 
a very powerful condition, from which it is hoped, 
that as those popes made it great by force of 
armies, so he through his goodness and infinite 
other virtues will make it both great and venerated. 



HAVING now discussed fully the qualities of 
these principalities of which I proposed to treat, 
and partially considered the causes of their pro- 
sperity or failure, and having also showed the 
methods hy which many have sought to obtain 
such states, it now remains for me to treat generally 
of the methods of attack and defence that can be 
used in each of them. We have said already how 
necessary it is for a prince to have his foundations 
good, otherwise he is certain to be ruined. The 
chief foundations of all states, whether new, old, 
or mixed, are good laws and good arms. And 
as there cannot be good laws where there are not 
good arms, and where there are good arms there 
should be good laws, I will not now discuss the 
laws, but will speak of the arms. I say, therefore, 
that the arms by which a prince defends his posses- 
sions are either his own, or else mercenaries, or 
auxiliaries, or mixed. The mercenaries and auxil- 
iaries are useless and dangerous, and if any one 
keeps his state based on the arms of mercenaries, 
he will never stand firm or sure, as they are dis- 
united, ambitious, without discipline, faithless, bold 
amongst friends, cowardly amongst enemies, they 
have no fear of God, and keep no faith with men. 



Ruin is only deferred as long as the assault is post- 
poned ; in peace you are despoiled by them, and in 
war by the enemy. The cause of this is that they 
have no love or other motive to keep them in the 
field beyond a trifling wage, which is not enough to 
make them ready to die for you. They are quite 
willing to be your soldiers so long as you do not 
make war, but when war comes, it is either fly or 
be off. I ought to have little trouble in proving 
this, since the ruin of Italy is now caused by 
nothing else but through her having relied for 
many years on mercenary arms. These were some- 
what improved in a few cases, and appeared courage- 
ous among themselves, but when the foreigner 
came they showed their worthlessness. Thus it 
came about that King Charles of France was allowed 
to take Italy without the slightest trouble, and those 
who said that it was owing to our sins, spoke the 
truth, but it was not the sins that they believed 
but those that I have related. And as it was the 
sins of princes, they too have suffered the punish- 
ment I will explain more fully the defects of 
these arms. Mercenary captains are either very 
capable men or not ; if they are, you cannot rely 
upon them, for they will always aspire to their own 
greatness, either by oppressing you, their master, 
or by oppressing others against your intentions ; 
but if the captain is not an able man, he will 
generally ruin you. And if it is replied to this, 
that whoever has armed forces will do the same, 
whether these are mercenary or not, 1 would reply 
that as armies are to be used either by a prince or 
by a republic, the prince must go in person to take 
the position of captain, and the republic must send 
its own citizens. If the one sent turns out incom- 
petent, it must change him ; and if capable, keep 
him by law from going beyond the proper limits. 
And it is seen by experience that only princes and 
armed republics make very great progress, whereas 


mercenary forces do nothing but damage, and also 
an armed republic submits less easily to the rule of 
one of its citizens than a republic armed by foreign 
forces. Rome and Sparta were for many centuries 
well armed and free. The Swiss are well armed 
and enjoy great freedom. As an example of mer- 
cenary armies in antiquity there are the Cartha- 
ginians, who were oppressed by their mercenary 
soldiers, after the termination of the first war 
with the Romans, even while they still had their 
own citizens as captains. Philip of Macedon was 
made captain of their forces by the Thebans after 
the death of Epaminondas, and after gaining the 
victory he deprived them of liberty. The Milanese, 
on the death of Duke Philip, hired Francesco 
Sforza against the Venetians, who having overcome 
the enemy at Caravaggio, allied himself with them 
to oppress the Milanese his employers. The father 
of this Sforza, being a soldier in the service of the 
Queen Giovanna of Naples, left her suddenly un- 
armed, by which she was compelled, in order not 
to lose the kingdom, to throw herself into the 
arms of the King of Aragon. And if the Venetians 
and Florentines have in times past increased their 
dominions by means of such forces, and their 
captains have not made themselves princes but 
have defended them, I reply that the Florentines 
in this case have been favoured by chance, for of 
the capable leaders whom they might have feared, 
some did not conquer, some met with opposition, 
and others directed their ambition elsewhere. The 
one who did not conquer was Sir John Hawkwood, 
whose fidelity could not be known as he was not 
victorious, but every one will admit that, had he con- 
quered, the Florentines would have been athismercy. 
Sforza had always the Bracceschi against him, they 
being constantly at enmity. Francesco directed 
his ambition towards Lombardy ; Braccio against 
the Church and the kingdom of Naples. But let 


us look at what followed a short time ago. The 
Florentines appointed Paolo Vitelli their captain, 
a man of great prudence, who had risen from a 
private station to the highest reputation. If he 
had taken Pisa no one can deny that it was highly 
important for the Florentines to retain his friend- 
ship, because had he become the soldier of their 
enemies they would have had no means of opposing 
him ; and in order to retain him they would have 
been obliged to obey him. As to the Venetians, if 
one considers the progress they made, it will be 
seen that they acted surely and gloriously so long 
as they made war with their own forces; that it 
was before they commenced their enterprises on 
land that they fought courageously with their own 
gentlemen and armed populace, but when they 
began to fight on laud they abandoned this virtue, 
and began to follow the Italian custom. And at 
the commencement of their land conquests they 
had not much to fear from their captains, their 
land possessions not being very large, and their 
reputation being great, but as their possessions 
increased, as they did under Carmagnola, they had 
an example of their mistake. For seeing that he was 
very powerful, after he had defeated the Duke of 
Milan, and knowing, on the other hand, that he was 
not enterprising in warfare, they considered that 
they would not make any more conquests with him, 
and they neither would nor could dismiss him, for 
fear of losing what they had already gained. They 
were therefore obliged, in order to make sure 
of him, to have him killed. They then had for 
captains Bartolommeo da Bergamo, Roberto da San 
Severino, Count di Pitigliano, and such like, from 
whom they had to fear loss instead of gain, as 
happened subsequently at Vaila, where in one day 
they lost what they had laboriously gained in eight 
hundred years ; for with these forces, only slow 
and trifling acquisitions are made, but sudden 


and miraculous losses. And as I have cited these 
examples from Italy, which has now for many years 
been governed by mercenary forces, I will now deal 
more largely with them, so that having seen their 
origin and progress, they can be better remedied. 
You must understand that in these latter times, as 
soon as the empire began to be repudiated in Italy 
and the pope to gain greater reputation in temporal 
matters, Italy was divided into many states ; many 
of the principal cities took up arms against their 
nobles, who, favoured by the emperor, had held them 
in subjection, and the Church encouraged this in 
order to increase its temporal power. In many 
other cities one of the inhabitants became prince. 
Thus Italy having fallen almost entirely into the 
hands of the Church and a few republics, and the 
priests and other citizens not being accustomed to 
bear arms, they began to hire foreigners as soldiers. 
The first to bring reputation for this kind of 
militia was Alberigo da Como, a native of Romagna. 
The discipline of this man produced, among others, 
Braccio and Sforza, who were in their day the 
arbiters of Italy. After these came all those 
others who up to the present day have commanded 
the armies of Italy, and the result of their prowess 
has been that Italy has been overrun by Charles, 
preyed on by Louis, tyrannised over by Ferrando, 
and insulted by the Swiss. The system adopted by 
them was, in the first place, to increase their own 
reputation by discrediting the infantry. They did 
this because, as they had no country and lived on 
their earnings, a few foot soldiers did not augment 
their reputation, and they could not maintain a large 
number and therefore they restricted themselves 
almost entirely to cavalry, by which with a smaller 
number they were well paid and honoured. They 
reduced things to such a state that in an army 
of 20,000 soldiers there were not 2000 foot. 
They had also used every means to spare them- 


selves and the soldiers any hardship or fear by not 
killing each other in their encounters, but taking 
prisoners without a blow. They made no attacks 
on fortifications by night ; and those in the fortifica- 
tions did not attack the tents at night, they made 
no stockades on ditches round their camps, and did 
not take the field in winter. All these things were 
permitted by their military rules, and adopted, as 
we have said, to avoid trouble and danger, so that 
they have reduced Italy to slavery and degradation. 



AUXILIARY forces, which are the other kind of 
useless forces, are when one calls on a potentate to 
come and aid one with his troops, as was done in 
recent times by Julius, who seeing the wretched 
failure of his mercenary forces, in his Ferrara 
enterprise, had recourse to auxiliaries, and arranged 
with Ferrando, King of Spain, that he should help 
him with his armies. These forces may be good in 
themselves, but they are always dangerous for those 
who borrow them, for if they lose you are defeated, 
and if they conquer you remain their prisoner. 
And although ancient history is full of examples of 
this, I will not depart from the example of Pope 
Julius II., which is still fresh. Nothing could 
be less prudent than the course lie adopted ; for, 
wishing to take Ferrara, he put himself entirely 
into the power of a foreigner. But by good fortune 
there arose a third cause which prevented him 
reaping the effects of his bad choice ; for when 
his auxiliaries were beaten at Ravenna, the Swiss 
rose up and drove back the victors, against all 
expectation of himself or others, so that he was not 
taken prisoner by the enemy which had fled, nor 
by his own auxiliaries, having conquered by other 
arms than theirs. The Florentines, being totally 
disarmed, hired 10,000 Frenchmen to attack Pisa, 


by which measure they ran greater risk than at any 
period of their struggles. The emperor of Con- 
stantinople, to oppose his neighbours, put 10,000 
Turks into Greece, who after the war would not go 
away again, which was the beginning of the servi- 
tude of Greece to the infidels. Any one, therefore, 
who wishes not to conquer, would do well to use 
these forces, which are much more dangerous than 
mercenaries, as with them ruin is complete, for they 
are all united, and owe obedience to others, whereas 
with mercenaries, when they have conquered, it 
requires more time and a good opportunity for them 
to injure you, as they do not form a single body and 
have been engaged and paid by you, therefore a 
third party that you have made leader cannot at 
once acquire enough authority to be able to injure 
you. In a word, the greatest dangers with mercen- 
aries lies in their cowardice and reluctance to fight, 
but with auxiliaries the danger lies in their courage. 
A wise prince, therefore, always avoids these forces 
and has recourse to his own, and would prefer 
rather to lose with his own men than conquer with 
the forces of others, not deeming it a true victory 
which is gained by foreign arms. I never hesitate 
to cite the example of Cesare Borgia and his actions. 
This duke entered Romagna with auxiliary troops, 
leading forces composed entirely of French soldiers, 
and with these he took Imola and Forli ; but as 
they seemed unsafe, he had recourse to mercenaries, 
and hired the Orsini and Vitelli ; afterwards finding 
these uncertain to handle, unfaithful and dangerous, 
he suppressed them, and relied upon his own men. 
And the difference between these forces can be 
easily seen if one considers the difference between 
the reputation of the duke when he had only the 
French, when he had the Orsini and Vitelli, and 
when he had to rely on himself and his own 
soldiers. His reputation will be found to have 
constantly increased, and he was never so highly 


esteemed as when every one saw that he was the 
sole master of his forces. 

I do not wish to go away from re< ent Italian 
instances, but I cannot omit Hiero of Syracuse, 
whom I have already mentioned. This man being 1 , 
as I said, made head of the army by the Syracusaris, 
immediately recognised the uselessness of that 
mercenary militia which was composed like our 
Italian mercenary troops, and as he thought it 
unsafe either to retain them or dismiss them, he 
had them cut in pieces and thenceforward made war 
with his own arms and not those of others. I would 
also call to mind a figure out of the Old Testament 
which well illustrates this point. When David 
offered to Saul to go and fight with the Philistine 
champion Goliath, Saul, to encourage him, armed 
him with his own arms, which when David had 
tried on he refused saying, that with them he could 
not fight so well ; he preferred, therefore, to face the 
enemy with his own sling and knife. In short, the 
arms of others either fail away from you, or orer- 
burden you, or else impede you. Charles VI II., father 
of King Louis XI., having through good fortune and 
bravery liberated France from the English, recog- 
nised this necessity of being armed with his cwu 
forces, and established in his kingdom a system of 
men-at-arms and infantry. Afterwards King Louis 
his son abolished the infantry and began to hire 
Swiss, which mistake being followed byothers is, as 
may now be seen, a cause of danger to that kingdom. 
For by giving such reputation to the Swiss, France 
has disheartened all her own troops, the infantry 
having been abolished and the men-at-arms being 
obliged to foreigners for assistance ; for being 
accustomed to fight with Swiss troops, they think 
they cannot conquer without them. Whence it 
comes that the French are insufficiently strong to 
oppose the Swiss, and without the aid of the Swiss 
they will not venture against others. The armies 


of the French are thus of a mixed kind, partly 
mercenary and partly her own ; taken together 
they are much better than troops entirely composed 
of mercenaries or auxiliaries, but much inferior to 
national forces. 



A PRINCE should therefore have no other aim or 
thought, nor take up any other thing for his study, 
but war and its order and discipline, for that is the 
only art that is necessary to one who commands, 
and it is of such virtue that it not only maintains 
those who are born princes, but often enables men 
of private fortune to attain to that rank. And one 
sees, on the other hand, that when princes think 
more of luxury than of arms, they lose their state. 
The chief cause which makes any one lose it, is the 
contempt of this art, and the way to acquire it is 
to be well versed in the same. Francesco Sforza, 
through being well armed, became, from a private 
position, Duke of Milan ; his sons, through wishing 
to avoid the fatigue and hardship of war, from 
dukes became private persons. For among other 
evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you con- 
temptible ; which is one of those disgraceful things 
which a prince must guard against, as will be ex- 
plained later. Because there is no comparison 
whatever between an armed man and a disarmed 
one ; it is not reasonable to suppose that one who 
is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed ; 
or that any unarmed man will remain safe among 
armed servants. For one being disdainful and the 


other suspicious, it is not possible for them to act 
well together. And yet a prince who is ignorant 
of military matters, besides the other misfortunes 
already mentioned, cannot be esteemed by his 
soldiers, nor have confidence in them. He ought, 
therefore, never to let his thoughts stray from 
the exercise of war; and in peace he ought to 
practise it more than in war, which he can do in 
two ways : both by action and by study. As to 
action, he must, besides keeping his men well 
disciplined and exercised, engage continually in 
hunting, and thus accustom his body to hardships ; 
^.nd on the other hand learn the nature of the land, 
how the mountains rise, how the valleys are dis- 
posed, where the plains lie, and understand the 
nature of the rivers and swamps, and to this he 
should devote great attention. This knowledge is 
useful in two ways. In the first place, one learns to 
know one's country, and can the better see how to 
defend it. Then by means of the knowledge and 
experience gained in one locality, one can easily 
understand any other that it may be necessary to 
venture on, for the hills and valleys, plains and 
rivers of Tuscany, for instance, have a certain 
resemblance to those of other provinces, so that 
from a knowledge of the country in one province 
-one can easily arrive at a knowledge of others. 
And that prince who is lacking in this skill is 
wanting in the first essentials of a leader ; for it is 
this which teaches how to find the enemy, take up 
quarters, lead armies, arrange marches and occupy 
positions with advantage. Philopoemen, prince of 
the Achaei, among other praises bestowed on him 
by writers, is lauded because in times of peace he 
thought of nothing but the methods of warfare, 
-and when he was in the country with his friends, 
he often stopped and asked them : If the enemy 
were on that hill and we found ourselves here with 
our army, which of us would have the advantage ? 


How could we safely approach him maintaining our 
order? If we wished to retire, what ought we to 
do? If they retired, how should we follow them? 
And he put before them as they went along all the 
cases that might happen to an army, heard their 
opinion, gave his own, fortifying it by argument ; 
so that through these continued cogitations there 
could never happen any incident when leading his 
armies for which he was not prepared. But as to 
exercise for the mind, the prince ought to read 
history and study the actions of eminent men, see 
how they acted in warfare, examine the causes of 
their victories and losses in order to imitate the 
former and avoid the latter, and above all, do as 
some eminent men have done in the past, who have 
imitated some one, who has been much praised and 
glorified, and have always kept their deeds and 
actions before them, as they say Alexander the 
Great imitated Achilles, Caesar Alexander, and 
Scipio Cyrus. And whoever reads the life of Cyrus 
written by Xenophon, will perceive in the life of 
Scipio how gloriously he imitated him, and how, in 
chastity, affability, humanity, and liberality Scipio 
conformed to those qualities of Cyrus described by 

A wise prince should follow similar methods and 
never remain idle in peaceful times, but by industry 
make such good use of the time as may serve him 
in adversity, so that when fortune changes she 
may find him prepared to resist her blows. 



IT remains now to be seen what are the methods 
and rules for a prince as regards his subjects and 
friends. And as I know that many have written 
of this, I fear that my writing about it may be 
deemed presumptuous, differing as I do, especi- 
ally in this matter, from the opinions of others. 
But my intention being to write something of 
use to those who understand it, it appears to me 
more proper to go to the real truth of the matter 
than to its imagination ; and many have imagined 
republics and principalities which have never been 
seen or known to exist in reality ; for how we live 
is so far removed from how we ought to live, that 
he who abandons what is done for what ought to 
be done, will rather learn to bring about his own 
ruin than his preservation. A man who wishes to 
make a profession of goodness in everything must 
necessarily come to grief among so many who are 
not good. Therefore it is necessary for a prince, 
who wishes to maintain himself, to learn how not 
to be good, and to use it and not use it according 
to the necessity of the case. Leaving on one side 
then those things which concern only an imaginary 
prince, and speaking of those that are real, I state 
that all men, when spoken of, and especially 


princes, who are placed at a greater height, are 
noted for some of those qualities which bring them 
either praise or blame. Thus one is considered 
liberal, another miserly ; one a free giver, another 
rapacious ; one cruel, another merciful ; one a 
breaker of his word, another faithful ; one effeminate 
and pusillanimous, another fierce and high-spirited ; 
one humane, another proud ; one lascivious, another 
chaste ; one frank, another astute ; one hard, 
another easy ; one serious, another frivolous ; one 
religious, another incredulous, and so on. I know 
that every one will admit that it would be highly 
praiseworthy in a prince to possess all the above- 
named qualities that are reputed good, but as they 
cannot all be possessed or observed, human condi- 
tions not permitting of it, it is necessary that he 
should be prudent enough to avoid the disgrace of 
those vices which would lose him the state, and 
guard himself against those which will not lose it 
him, if possible, but if not able to, he can indulge 
them with less scruple. And yet he must not mind 
incurring the disgrace of those vices, without which 
it would be difficult to save the state, for if one 
considers well, it will be found that some things 
which seem virtues would, if followed, lead to one's 
ruin, and some others which appear vices result, 
if followed, in one's greater security and wellbeing. 



BEGINNING now with the first qualities above 
named, I say that it would be well to be considered 
liberal ; nevertheless liberality used in such a way 
that you are not feared will injure you, because if 
used virtuously and in the proper way, it will not be 
known, and you will not incur the disgrace of the 
contrary vice. But one who wishes to obtain the 
reputation of liberality among men, must not omit 
every kind of sumptuous display, and to such an 
extent that a prince of this character will consume 
by such means all his resources, and will be at last 
compelled, if he wishes to maintain his name for 
liberality, to impose heavy charges on his people, 
become an extortioner, and do everything possible 
to obtain money. This will make his subjects begin 
to hate him, and he will be little esteemed being 
poor, so that having by this liberality injured many 
and benefited but few, he will feel the first little 
disturbance and be endangered by every accident. 
If he recognises: this and wishes to change his 
system, he incurs at once the charge of niggardli- 
ness ; a prince, therefore, not being able to 
exercise this virtue of liberality without risk if it 
is known, must not, if he is prudent, object to be 
called miserly. In course of time he will be 
thought more liberal, when it is seen that by his 


parsimony his revenue is sufficient, that he can de- 
fend himself against those who make war on him r 
and undertake enterprises without burdening his- 
people, so that he is really liberal to all those from 
whom he does not take, who are infinite in number, 
and niggardly to all to whom he does not give, who 
are few. 

In our times we have seen nothing great done 
except by those who have been esteemed niggardly ; 
the others have all been ruined. Pope Julius II., 
although he had made use of a reputation for liber- 
ality in order to attain the papacy, did not seek to 
retain it afterwards, so that he might be able to 
make war on the King of France, and he carried 
on so many wars without imposing an extraordinary 
tax, because his extra expenses were covered by the 
parsimony he had so long practised. The present 
King of Spain, if he had been thought liberal, would 
not have engaged in and won so many enterprises. 
For these reasons a prince must care little for the 
reputation of being a miser, if he wishes to avoid 
robbing his subjects, if he wishes to be able to defend 
himself, to not become poor and contemptible, and 
not to be forced to become rapacious ; this vice of 
niggardliness is one of those vices which enable him 
to reign. If it is said that Caesar attained the empire 
through liberality, and that many others have 
reached the highest positions through being liberal 
or being thought so, I would reply that you are 
either a prince already or else on the way to become 
one. In the first case, this liberality is harmful ; 
in the second, it is certainly necessary to be con- 
sidered liberal, and Cajsar was one of those who 
wished to attain the mastery over Rome, but if 
after attaining it he had lived and had not 
moderated his expenses, he would have destroyed 
that empire. And should any one reply that there 
have been many princes, who have done great things 
with their armies, who have been thought extremely 


liberal, I would answer by saying that the prince 
may either spend his own wealth and that of his 
subjects or the wealth of others. In the first case 
he must be sparing, but in the second he must not 
neglect to be very liberal. This liberality is very 
necessary to a prince who marches with his armies, 
and lives by plunder, sacking and extorting, and is 
dealing with the wealth of others, for without it he 
would not be followed by his soldiers. And you 
may be very generous indeed with what is not the 
property of yourself or your subjects, as were Cyrus, 
CsBsar, and Alexander ; for spending the wealth 
of others will not diminish your reputation, but 
increase it, only spending your own resources will 
injure you. There is nothing which destroys itself 
so much as liberality, for by using it you lose the 
power of using it, and become either poor and des- 
picable, or, to escape poverty, rapacious and hated. 
And of all things that a prince must guard against, 
the most important are being despicable or hated, 
and liberality will lead you to one or other of these 
conditions. It is, therefore, wiser to have the name 
of a miser, which produces disgrace without hatred, 
than to incur of necessity the name of being 
rapacious, which produces both disgrace and hatred. 



PROCEEDING to the other qualities before named, I 
say that every prince must desire to be considered 
merciful and not cruel. He must, however, take 
care not to misuse this mercifulness. Cesare Borgia 
was considered cruel, but his cruelty had settled 
the Romagna, united it, and brought it peace and 
confidence. If this is considered a benefit, it will 
be seen that he was really much more merciful 
than the Florentine people, who, to avoid the name 
of cruelty, allowed Pistoia to be destroyed. A 
prince, therefore, must not mind incurring the 
charge of cruelty for the purpose of keeping his 
subjects united and confident ; for, with a very few 
examples, he will be more merciful than those 
who, from excess of tenderness, allow disorders to 
arise, from whence spring murders and rapine ; for 
these as a rule injure the whole community, while 
the executions carried out by the prince injure only 
one individual. And of all princes, it is impossible 
for a new prince to escape the name of cruel, 
new states being always full of dangers. Where- 
fore Virgil makes Dido excuse the inhumanity of 
her rule by its being new, where she says : 

Res dura, et regni novitas me talia cogunt 
Moliri, et late fines custode tueri. 


Nevertheless, he must be cautious in believing 
and acting, and must not inspire fear of his own 
accord, and must proceed in a temperate manner 
with prudence and humanity, so that too much 
confidence does not render him incautious, and too 
much diffidence does not render him intolerant. 
From this arises the question whether it is better 
to be loved more than feared, or feared more than 
loved. The reply is, that one ought to be both 
feared and loved, but as it is difficult for the two 
to go together, it is much safer to be feared than 
loved, if one of the two has to be wanting. For 
it may be said of men in general that they are 
ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid 
danger, and covetous of gain ; as long as you benefit 
them, they are entirely yours ; they offer you their 
blood, their goods, their life, and their children, 
as I have before said, when the necessity is remote ; 
but when it approaches, they revolt. And the 
prince who has relied solely on their words, with- 
out making other preparations, is ruined, for the 
friendship which is gained by purchase and not 
through grandeur and nobility of spirit is merited 
but is not secured, and at times is not to be had. 
And men have less scruple in offending one who 
makes himself loved than one who makes himself 
feared; for love is held by a chain of obligation 
which, men being selfish, is broken whenever it 
serves their purpose ; but fear is maintained by a 
dread of punishment which never fails. Still, a 
prince should make himself feared in such a way 
that if he does not gain love, he at any rate avoids 
hatred ; for fear, and the absence of hatred may 
well go together, and will be always attained by 
one who abstains from interfering with the property 
of his citizens and subjects or with their women. 
And when he is obliged to take the life of any one, 
to do so when there is a proper justification and 
manifest reason for it ; but above all he must 


abstain from taking the property of others, for men 
forget more easily the death of their father than 
the loss of their patrimony. Then also pretexts 
for seizing property are never wanting, and one 
who begins to live by rapine will always find some 
reason for taking the goods of others, whereas 
causes for taking life are rarer and more quickly 
destroyed. But when the prince is with his army 
and has a large number of soldiers under hia 
control, then it is extremely necessary that he* 
should not mind being thought cruel ; for without 
this reputation he could not keep an army united, 
or disposed to any duty. 

Among the noteworthy actions of Hannibal ifr 
numbered this, that although he had an enormous 
army, composed of men of all nations and fighting 
in foreign countries, there never arose any dissension 
either among them or against the prince, either in 
good fortune or in bad. This could not be due to 
anything but his inhuman cruelty, which together 
with his infinite other virtues, made him always 
venerated and terrible in the sight of his soldiers, 
and without it his other virtues would not have 
sufficed to produce that effect. Thoughtless writers 
admire on the one hand his actions, and on the 
other blame the principal cause of them. And that 
it is true that his other virtues would not have 
sufficed may be seen from the case of Scipio (very 
rare not only in his own times, but in all times 
of which memory remains), whose armies rebelled 
against him in Spain, which arose from nothing 
but his excessive kindness, which allowed more 
license to the soldiers than was consonant with 
military discipline. He was reproached with this 
in the senate by Fabius Maximus, who called him 
a corrupter of the Roman militia. 

The Locri having been destroyed by one of 
Scipio's officers were not revenged by him, nor 
was the insolence of that officer punished, simply 


by reason of his easy nature; so much so, that 
some one wishing to excuse him in the senate, said 
that there were many men who knew rather how 
not to err, than how to correct the errors of others. 
This disposition would in time have tarnished the 
fame and glory of Scipio had he persevered in it 
under the empire, but living under the rule of the 
senate this harmful quality was not only concealed 
but became a glory to him. I conclude, therefore, 
with regard to being feared and loved, that men 
love at their own free will, but fear at the will of 
the prince, and that a wise prince must rely on 
what is in his power and not on what is in the 
power of others, and he must only trouble himself 
to avoid incurring hatred, as has been explained. 



How laudable it is for a prince to keep good faith 
and live with integrity, and not with astuteness, 
every one knows. Still the experience of our times \. 
shows those princes to have done great things who 
have had little regard for good faith, and have been \ 
able by astuteness to confuse men's brains, and i 
who have ultimately overcome those who have / 
made loyalty their foundation. You must know, 
then, that there are two methods of fighting, the 
one by law, the other by force : the first method is 
that of men, the second of beasts ; but as the first 
method is often insufficient, one must have recourse 
to the second. It is therefore necessary to know 
well how to use both the beast and the man. This 
was covertly taught to princes by ancient writers, 
who relate how Achilles and many others of those 
princes were given to Chiron the centaur to be 
brought up, who kept them under his discipline ; 
this system of having for teacher one who was 
half beast and half man is meant to indicate that a 
prince must know how to use both natures, and 
that the one without the other is not durable. A 
prince being thus obliged to know well how to act 
as a beast must imitate the fox and the lion, for 
the lion cannot protect himself from snares, and 
the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One 


must therefore be a fox to recognise snares, and a 
lion to frighten wolves. Those that wish to be only 
lions do not understand this. Therefore, a prudent 

I ruler ought not to keep faith when by so doing it 1 
would be against his interest, and when the reasons ! 
which made him bind himself no longer exist. Jjf , 
men were all good, this precept would not be a 
good one ; but as they are bad, and would not ob- 

serve their faith with you, so you are not bound to 
keep faith with them. Nor are legitimate grounds 
ever wanting to a prince to give colour to the 

(non-fulfilment of his promise. Of this one could ; 
furnish an infinite number of modern examples, 
and show how many times peace has been broken, 
and how many promises rendered worthless, by the 
faithlessness of princes, and those that have been 
best able to imitate the fox have succeeded best. But 
it is necessary to be able to disguise this character 
well, and to be a great feigner and dissembler; and 
men are so simple and so ready to obey present 
necessities, that one who deceives will always find 
those who allow themselves to be deceived. I will 
only mention one modern instance. Alexander VI. 
did nothing else but deceive men, he thought of 
nothing else, and found the way to do it ; no man 
was ever more able to give assurances, or affirmed 
things with stronger oaths, and no man observed 
them less; however, he always succeeded in his 

{deceptions, as he knew well this side of the world. 
It is not, therefore, necessary for a prince to 
have all the above-named qualities, but it is very 
necessary to seem to have them. I wo'ul'd even be 
bold to say that to possess them and to always 
observe them is dangerous, but to appear to possess 
them is useful. Thus .it Js well to_seem pious, 
faithful, humane, religious, sincere, and also to 
be so ; but you must have the mind so watchful 
that when it is needful to be otherwise you may be 
able to change to the opposite qualities. And it 


imust be understood that a prince, and especially a 
new prince, cannot observe all those things which 
'are considered good in men, being often obliged, in 
order to maintain the state, to act against faith, 
.against charity, against humanity, and against 
/religion. And, therefore, he must have a mind 
disposed to adapt itself according to the wind, and 
as the variations of fortune dictate, and, as I said 
before, not deviate from what is good, if possible, 
,but be able to do evil if necessitated. A prince 
must take great care that nothing goes out of his 
jmouth which is not full of the above-named five 
Equalities, and, to see and hear him, be should seem 
to be all faith, all integrity, all humanity, and all 
1 religion. And nothing is more necessary than to 
seem to have this last quality, for men in general 
judge more by the eyes than by the hands, for 
every one can see, but very few have to feel. 
Everybody sees what you appear to be, few feel 
what you are, and those few will not dare to oppose 
themselves to the many, who have the majesty of 
the state to defend them ; and in the actions of 
I men, and especially of princes, from which there 
is no appeal, the end is everything. 

Let a prince therefore aim at living and maintain- 
ing the state, the means will always be judged 
i honourable and praised by every one, for the vulgar 
is always taken by appearances and the result of 
; things ; and the world consists only of the vulgar, 
1 and the few find a place when the many have nothing 
; to rest upon. A certain prince of the present time, 
, whom it is well not to name, never does anything 
; but preach peace and good faith, but he is really a 
I great enemy to both, and either of them, had he 
observed them, would have lost him both state and 
reputation on many occasions. 



BUT as I have now spoken of the most important of 
the qualities in question, I will now deal briefly 
with the rest on the general principle, that the 
prince must, as already stated, avoid those things 
which will make him hated or despised ; and when- 
ever he succeeds in this, he will have done his part, 
and will find no danger in other vices. 

He will chiefly become hated, as I said, by being 
rapacious, and usurping the property and women 
of his subjects, which he must abstain from doing, 
and whenever one does not attack the property 
or honour of the generality of men, they will live 
contented ; and one will only have to combat the 
ambition of a few, who can be easily held in check 
in many ways. He is rendered despicable by being 
thought changeable, frivolous, efteminate, timid, 
and irresolute ; which a prince must guard against 
as a rock of danger, and manage so that his actions 
show grandeur, high courage, seriousness, and 
strength ; and as to the government of his subjects, 
let his sentence be irrevocable,, and let him adhere 
to his decisions so that no one may think of deceiv- 
ing him or making him change. The prince who 
creates such an opinion of himself gets a great 
reputation, and it is very difficult to conspire 
against one who has a great reputation, and he will 


not easily be attacked, so long as it is known that 
he is esteemed and reverenced by his subjects. 
For a prince must have two kinds of fear : one 
internal as regards his subjects,, one external as 
regards foreign powers. From the latter he can 
defend himself with good arms and good friends, 
and he will always have good friends if he has good 
arms ; arid internal matters will always remain 
quiet, if they are not perturbed by conspiracy ; and 
even if external powers sought to foment one, if he 
has ruled and lived as I have described, he will 
always if he stands firm be able to sustain every 
shock, as I have shown that Nabis the Spartan did. 
But with regard to the subjects, if not acted on 
from outside, it is still to be feared lest they con- 
spire in secret, from which the prince may guard 
himself well by avoiding hatred and contempt, and 
keeping the people satisfied with him, which it is 
necessary to accomplish, as has been related at 
length. And one of the most potent remedies that 
a prince has against conspiracies, is that of not 
being hated or despised by the mass of the people ; 
for whoever conspires always believes that he will 
satisfy the people by the death of their prince ; but 
if he thought to offend them by doing this, he 
would fear to engage in such an undertaking, for 
the difficulties that conspirators have to meet are 
infinite. Experience shows that there have been 
very many conspiracies, but few have turned out 
well, for whoever conspires cannot act alone, and 
cannot find companions except among those who 
are discontented ; and as soon as you have disclosed 
your intention to a malcontent, you give him the 
means of satisfying himself, for by revealing it he 
can hope to secure everything he wants ; to such an 
extent that seeing a certain gain by doing this, and 
seeing on the other hand only a doubtful one and 
full of danger, he must either be a rare friend to 
you or else a very bitter enemy to the prince if he 


Keeps faith with you. And to reduce the matter 
to narrow limits, I say, that on the side of the 
conspirator there is nothing hut fear, jealousy, 
suspicion, and dread of punishment which frightens 
him ; and on the side of the prince there is the 
majesty of government, the laws, the protection of 
friends and of the state which guard him. When 
to these things are added the goodwill of the 
people, it is impossible that any one should have 
the temerity to conspire. For whereas generally a 
conspirator has to fear before the execution of his 
plot, in this case he must also fear afterwards, 
having the people for an enemy, when his crime is 
accomplished, and thus not being able to hope for 
any refuge. * Numberless instances might be given 
of this, but I will content myself with one which took 
place within the memory of our fathers. Messer 
Annibale Bentivogli, Prince of Bologna, ancestor 
of the present Messer Annibale, was killed by the 
Canneschi, who conspired against him. He left no 
relations but Messer Giovanni, who was then an 
infant, but after the murder the people rose up 
and killed all the Canneschi. This arose from the 
popular goodwill that the house of Bentivogli en- 
joyed at that time in Bologna, which was so great 
that, as there was nobody left after the death of 
Annibale who could govern the state, the Bolognese 
hearing that there was one of the Bentivogli family 
in Florence, who had till then been thought the 
son of a blacksmith, came to fetch him and gave 
him the government of the city, and it was governed 
by him until Messer Giovanni was old enough to 
assume the government. 

I conclude, therefore, that a prince need trouble 
little about conspiracies when the people are well 
disposed, but when they are hostile and hold him in 
hatred, then he must fear everything and every- 
body. Well-ordered states and" wise princes have 
studied diligently not to drive the nobles to 


desperation, and to satisfy the populace and keep 
it contented, for this is one of the most important 
matters that a prince has to deal with. Among the 
kingdoms that are well ordered and governed in 
our time is France, and there we find numberless 
good institutions on which depend the liberty and 
security of the king ; of these the chief is the 
parliament and its authority, because he who 
established that kingdom, knowing the ambition 
and insolence of the great nobles, and deeming it 
necessary to have a bit in their mouths to check 
them ; and knowing on the other hand the hatred of 
the mass of the people to the great, based on fear, 
and wishing to secure them, did not wish to make 
this the special care of the king, to relieve him of the 
dissatisfaction that he might incur among the nobles 
by favouring the people, and among the people by 
favouring the nobles. He therefore established a 
third judge that, without direct charge of the king, 
kept in check the great and favoured the lesser 
people. Nor could any better or more prudent 
measure have been adopted, nor better precaution for 
the safety of the king and the kingdom. From 
which another notable rule can be drawn, that 
princes should let the carrying out of unpopular 
duties devolve on others, and bestow favours them- 
selves. I conclude again by saying that a prince 
must esteem his nobles, but not make himself hated 
by the populace. It may perhaps seem to some, 
that considering the life and death of many Roman 
emperors that they are instances contrary to my 
opinion, finding that some who lived always nobly 
and showed great strength of character, neverthe- 
less lost the empire, or were killed by their subjects 
who conspired against them. Wishing to answer 
these objections, 1 will discuss the qualities of some 
emperors, showing the cause of their ruin not to 
be at variance with what I have stated, and I will 
also partly consider the things to be noted by 


whoever reads the deeds of these times. I will 
content myself with taking all those emperors who 
succeeded to the empire from Marcus the philosopher 
to Maximinus ; these were Marcus, Commodus his 
son, Pertinax, Heliogabalus, Alexander, and Maxi- 
minus. And the first thing to note is, that whereas 
other princes have only to contend against the am- 
bition of the great and the insolence of the people, 
the Roman emperors had a third difficulty, that of 
having to support the cruelty and avarice of the 
soldiers, which was such a difficulty that it was the 
cause of the ruin of many, it being difficult to satisfy 
both the soldiers and the people. For the people 
love tranquillity, and therefore like princes who are 
pacific, but the soldiers prefer a prince of military 
spirit, who is insolent, cruel, and rapacious. They 
wish him to exercise these qualities on the people 
so that they may get double pay and give vent to 
their avarice and cruelty. Thus it came about that 
those emperors who, by nature or art, had not such 
a reputation as could keep both parties in check, 
invariably were ruined, and the greater number 
of them who were raised to the empire being new 
men, knowing the difficulties of these two opposite 
dispositions, confined themselves to satisfying the 
soldiers, and thought little of injuring the people. 
This choice was necessary, princes not being able to 
avoid being hated by some one. They must first 
try not to be hated by the mass of the people ; if 
they cannot accomplish this they must use every 
means to escape the hatred of the most powerful 
parties. And therefore these emperors, who being 
new men had need of extraordinary favours, adhered 
to the soldiers more willingly than to the people ; 
whether this, however, was of use to them or not, 
depended on whether the prince knew how to 
maintain his reputation with them. 

From these causes it resulted that Marcus, 
Pertinax, and Alexander, being all of modest life, 


lovers of justice, enemies of cruelty, humane and 
benign, had all a sad ending except Marcus. 
Marcus alone lived and died in honour, because he 
succeeded to the empire by hereditary right and did 
not owe it either to the soldiers or to the people ; 
besides which, possessing many virtues which made 
him revered, he kept both parties in their place as 
long as he lived and was never either hated or 
despised. But Pertinax was created emperor against 
the will of the soldiers, who being accustomed to 
live licentiously under Commodus, could not put up 
with the honest life to which Pertinax wished to 
limit them, so that having made himself hated, and 
to this contempt being added because he was old, he 
was ruined at the very beginning of his administra- 
tion. Whence it may be seen that hatred is gained 
as much by good works as by evil, and therefore, as 
I said before, a prince who wishes to maintain the 
state is often forced to do evil, for when that party, 
whether populace, soldiery, or nobles, whichever 
it be that you consider necessary to you for keep- 
ing your position, is corrupt, you must follow its 
humour and satisfy it, and in that case good works 
will be inimical to you. But let us come to Alex- 
ander, who was of such goodness, that among other 
things for which he is praised, it is said that in the 
fourteen years that he reigned no one was put to 
death by him without a fair trial. Nevertheless, 
being considered effeminate, and a man who allowed 
himself to be ruled by his mother, and having thus 
fallen into contempt, the army conspired against 
him and killed him. Looking, on the other hand, 
at the qualities of Commodus, Severus, Antoninus, 
Caracalla, and Maximinus, you will find them 
extremely cruel and rapacious ; to satisfy the 
soldiers there was no injury which they would not 
inflict on the people, and all except Severus ended 
badly. Severus, however, had such abilities that by 
maintaining the soldiers friendly to him, he was 


able to reign happily, although he oppressed the 
people, for his virtues made him so admirable in the 
sight both of the soldiers and the people that the 
latter were, as it were, astonished and stupefied, while 
the former were respectful and contented. As the 
deeds of this ruler were great for a new prince,, I 
will briefly show how well he could use the qualities 
of the fox and the lion, whose natures, as I said 
before, it is necessary for a prince to imitate. 
Knowing the sloth of the Emperor Julian, Severus, 
who was leader of the army in Slavonia, persuaded 
the troops that it would be well to go to Rome to 
avenge the death of Pertinax, who had been slain 
by the Imperial guard, and under this pretext, 
without revealing his aspirations to the throne, 
marched with his army to Rome and was in Italy 
before his design was known. On his arrival in 
Rome the senate elected him emperor through 
fear, and Julian died. There remained after this 
beginning two difficulties to be faced by Severus 
before he could obtain the whole control of the 
empire : one in Asia, where Nigrinus, head of the 
Asiatic armies, had declared himself emperor ; the 
other in the west from Albinus, who also aspired to 
the empire. And as he judged it dangerous to show 
himself hostile to both, he decided to attack Nigrinus 
and deceive Albinus, to whom he wrote that having 
been elected emperor by the senate he wished to 
share that dignity with him ; he sent him the title 
of Caesar and, by deliberation of the senate, he was 
declared his colleague ; all of which was accepted 
as true by Albinus. But when Severus had defeated 
and killed Nigrinus, and pacified things in the East, 
he returned to Rome and charged Albinus in the 
senate with having, unmindful of the benefits re- 
ceived from him, traitorously sought to assassinate 
him, and stated that he was therefore obliged to go 
and punish his ingratitude. He then went to 
France to meet him, and there deprived him of both 


his position and his life. Whoever examines in 
detail the actions of Severus, will find him to have 
been a very ferocious lion and an extremely astute 
fox, and will see him to have been feared and 
respected by all and not hated by the army ; and 
will not be surprised that he, a new man, should 
have been able to hold the empire so well, since his 
great reputation defended him always from that 
hatred that his rapacity might have produced in 
the people. But Antoninus his son was also a man 
of great ability, and possessed qualities that rendered 
him admirable in the sight of the people and also 
made him popular with the soldiers, for he was a 
military man, capable of enduring the most extreme 
hardships, disdainful of delicate food, and every 
other luxury, which made him loved by all the 
armies. However, his ferocity and cruelty were so 
great and unheard of, through his having, after 
executing many private individuals, caused a large 
part of the population of Rome and all that of 
Alexandria to be killed, that he became hated by all 
the world and began to be feared by those about 
him to such an extent that he was finally killed by 
a centurion in the midst of his army. Whence it is 
to be noted that this kind of death, which proceeds 
from the deliberate action of a determined man, 
cannot be avoided by princes, since any one who 
does not fear death himself can inflict it, but a 
prince need not fear much on this account, as such 
actions are extremely rare. He must only guard 
against committing any grave injury to any one he 
makes use of, or has about him for his service, like 
Antoninus had done, having caused the death with 
contumely of the brother of that centurion, and 
also threatened him every day, although he still 
retained him in his bodyguard, which was a foolish 
and dangerous thing to do, as the fact proved. 
But let us come to Commodus, who might easily 
have kept the empire, having succeeded to it by 


heredity, being the son of Marcus, and it would have 
sufficed for him to follow in the steps of his father 
to have satisfied both the people and the soldiers. 
But being of a cruel and bestial disposition, in order 
to be able to exercise his rapacity on the people, he 
sought to amuse the soldiers and render them 
licentious ; on the other hand, by not maintaining 
his dignity, by often descending into the theatre to 
fight with gladiators and committing other con- 
temptible actions, little worthy of the imperial 
dignity, he became despicable in the eyes of the 
soldiers, and being hated on the one hand and 
despised on the other, he was conspired against 
and killed. There remains to be described the 
character of Maximinus. He was an extremely 
warlike man, and as the armies were annoyed 
with the effeminacy of Alexander, which we have 
already spoken of, he was after the death of the 
latter elected emperor. He did not enjoy it for 
long, as two things made him hated and despised : 
the one his base origin, as he had been a shepherd in 
Thrace, which was generally known and caused 
great disdain on all sides ; the other, because he had 
at the commencement of his rule deferred going to 
Rome to take possession of the Imperial seat, and 
had obtained a reputation for great cruelty, having 
through his prefects in Rome and other parts of 
the empire committed many acts of cruelty. The 
whole world being thus moved by indignation for 
the baseness of his blood, and also by the hatred 
caused by fear of his ferocity, he was conspired 
against first by Africa and afterwards by the senate 
and all the people of Rome and Italy. His own 
army also joined them, for besieging Aquileia and 
finding it difficult to take, they became enraged 
at his cruelty, and seeing that he had so many 
enemies, they feared him less and put him to death. 
I will not speak of Heliogabalus, of Macrinus, or 
Julian, who being entirely contemptible were 


immediately suppressed, but I will come to the 
conclusion of this discourse by saying that the 
princes of our time have less difficulty than these 
of being obliged to satisfy in an extraordinary 
degree their soldiers in their states ; for although 
they must have a certain consideration for them, 
yet it is soon settled, for none of these princes have 
armies that are inextricably bound rp with the 
administration of the government and the rule of 
their provinces as were the armies of the Roman 
empire ; and therefore if it was then necessary to 
satisfy the soldiers rather than the people, it was 
because the soldiers could do more than the people ; 
now, it is more necessary to all princes, except 
the Turk and the Soldan, to satisfy the people than 
the soldiers, for the people can do more than the 
soldiers. I except the Turk, because he always 
keeps about him twelve thousand infantry and 
fifteen thousand cavalry, on which depend the 
security and strength of his kingdom ; and it is 
necessary for him to postpone every other considera- 
tion of the people to keep them friendly. It is the 
same with the kingdom of the Soldan, which being 
entirely in the hands of the soldiers, he is bound to 
keep their friendship regardless of the people. And 
it is to be noted that this state of the Soldan is 
different from that of all other princes, being 
similar to the Christian pontificate, which cannot be 
called either a hereditary kingdom or a new one, 
for the sons of the dead prince are not his heirs, but 
he who is elected to that position by those who have 
authority. And as this order is ancient it cannot be 
called a new kingdom, there being none of these 
difficulties which exist in new ones ; as although the 
prince is new, the rules of that state are old and 
arranged to receive him as if he were their hereditary 
lord. But returning to our matter, I say that 
whoever studies the preceding argument will see 
that either hatred or contempt were the causes of 


the ruin of the emperors named, and will also 
observe how it came about that, some of them acting 
in one way and some in another, in both ways there 
were some who had a fortunate and others an un- 
fortunate ending. As Pertinax and Alexander were 
both new rulers, it was useless and injurious for 
them to try and imitate Marcus, who was a hereditary 
prince ; and similarly with Caracalla, Commodus, 
and Maximinus it was pernicious for them to 
imitate Severus, as they had not sufficient ability to 
follow in his footsteps. Thus a new prince cannot 
imitate the actions of Marcus, in his dominions, nor 
is it necessary for him to imitate those of Severus ; 
but he must take from Severus those portions that 
are necessary to found his state, and from Marcus 
thosie that are useful and glorious for conserving a 
state that is already established and secure. 



SOME princes, in order to securely hold their posses- 
sions, have disarmed their subjects, some others 
have kept their subject lands divided, into parts, 
others have fomented enmities against themselves, 
others have endeavoured to win over those whom 
they suspected at the commencement of their rule : 
some have constructed fortresses, others have 
ruined and destroyed them. And although one 
cannot pronounce a definite judgment as to these 
things without going into the particulars of the 
state to which such a deliberation is to be applied, 
still I will speak in such a broad way as the matter 
will permit of. 

A new prince has never been known to disarm 
his subjects, on the contrary, when he has found! 
them disarmed he has always armed them, for by 
arming them these arms become your own, those 
that you suspected become faithful and those that 
were faithful remain so, and from being merely 
subjects become your partisans. And since all the 
subjects cannot be armed, when you benefit those 
that you arm, you can deal more safely with the 
others ; and this different treatment that they 
notice renders your men more obliged to you, the 
others will excuse you, judging that those have 


necessarily greater merit who have greater danger 
and heavier duties. But when you disarm them, 
you commence to offend them and show that you 
distrust them either through cowardice or lack of 
confidence, and hoth of these opinions generate 
hatred against you. And as you cannot remain 
unarmed, you are obliged to resort to a mercenary 
militia, of which we have already stated the value ; 
and even if it were good it cannot be sufficient in 
number to defend you against powerful enemies 
and suspected subjects. But, as I have said, a new 
prince in a new dominion always has his subjects 
armed. History is full of such examples. But 
when a prince acquires a new state as an addition 
to his old one, then it is necessary to disarm that 
state, except those who in acquiring it have sided 
with you ; and even these one must, when time 
and opportunity serve, render weak and effeminate, 
and arrange things so that all the arms of the new 
state are in the hands of your own soldiers who in 
your old state live near you. 

Our forefathers and those who were esteemed 
wise used to say that it was necessary to hold 
Pistoia by means of factious and Pisa with fortresses, 
and for this purpose they fomented differences 
Among their subjects in some town in order to 
possess it more easily. This, in those days when 
Jtaly was fairly divided, was doubtless well done, 
l>ut does not seem to me to be a good precept 
for the present time, for I do not believe that the 
divisions thus created ever do any good ; on the 
contrary it is certain that when the enemy 
approaches the cities thus divided will be at once 
lost, for the weaker faction will always side with 
the enemy and the other will not be able to stand. 
The Venetians, actuated, I believe, by the aforesaid 
motives, cherished the Guelf and Ghibelline factions 
in the cities subject to them, and although they 
never allowed them to come to bloodshed, they yet 


encouraged these differences among them, so that 
the citizens, heing occupied in their own quarrels, 
might not act against them. This, however, did 
not avail them anything, as was seen when, after the 
defeat of Vaila, a part of those subjects immediately 
took courage and took from them the whole state. 
Such methods, besides, argue weakness in a prince, 
for in a strong government such dissensions will 
never be permitted. They are profitable only in 
time of peace, as by means of them it is easy to 
manage one's subjects, but when it comes to war, 
the fallacy of such a policy is at once shown. 
Without doubt princes become great when they 
overcome difficulties and opposition, and therefore 
fortune, especially when it wants to render a new 
prince great, who has greater need of gaining a 
great reputation than a hereditary prince, raises 
up enemies and compels him to undertake wars 
against them, so that he may have cause to over- 
come them, and thus raise himself higher by means 
of that ladder which his enemies have brought him. 
There are many who think therefore that a wise 
prince ought, when he has the chance, to foment 
astutely some enmity, so that by suppressing it he 
will augment his greatness. Princes, and especially 
new ones, have found more faith and more useful- 
ness in those men, whom at the beginning of their 
power they regarded with suspicion, than in those 
they at first confided in. Pandolfo Petrucci, Prince 
of Siena, governed his state more by those whom he 
suspected than by others. But of this we cannot 
speak at large, as it varies according to the subject ; 
I will merely say that these men who at the begin- 
ning of a new government were enemies, if they 
are of a kind to need support to maintain their 
position, can be very easily gained by the prince, 
and they are the more compelled to serve him faith- 
fully as they know they must by their deeds cancel 
the bad opinion previously held of them, and thus 


the prince will always derive greater help from 
them than from those who, serving him with greater 
security, neglect his interests And as the matter 
requires it, I will not omit to remind a prince who 
has newly taken a state with the secret help of 
its inhabitants, that he must consider well the 
motives that have induced those who have favoured 
him to do so, and if it is not natural affection for 
him, but only because they were not contented with 
the state as it was, he will have great trouble and 
difficulty in maintaining their friendship, because it 
will be impossible for him to content them. And 
on well examining the cause of this in the examples 
drawn from ancient and modern times it will be 
seen that it is much easier to gain the friendship of 
those men who were contented with the previous 
condition and were therefore at first enemies, than 
that of those who not being contented, became his 
friends and helped him to occupy it It has been 
the custom of princes in order to be able to hold 
securely their state, to erect fortresses, as a bridle 
and bit to those who have designs against them, 
and in order to have a secure refuge against a 
sudden assault. I approve this method, because it 
was anciently used. Nevertheless, Messer Niccolo 
Vitelli has been seen in our own time to destroy 
two fortresses in Citta di Castello in order to keep 
that state. Guid' Ubaldo, Duke of Urbino, on 
returning to his dominions from which he had been 
driven by Cesare Borgia, razed to their foundations 
all the fortresses of that province, and considered 
that without them it would be more difficult for 
him to lose again the state. The Bentivogli, in 
returning to Bologna, used similar measures. 
Therefore fortresses may or may not be useful 
according to the times ; if they do good in one way, 
they do harm in another. 

The question may be discussed thus : a prince 
who fears his own people more than foreigners ought 


to build fortresses, but he who has greater fear of 
foreigners than of his own people ought to do with- 
out them. The castle of Milan built by Francesco 
Sforza has given and will give more trouble to the 
house of Sforza than any other disorder in that 
state. Therefore the best fortress is to be found 
in the love of the people, for although you 
may have fortresses they will not save you if you 
are hated by the people. When once the people 
have taken arms against you, there will never be 
lacking foreigners to assist them. In our times we 
do not see that they have profited any ruler, except 
the Countess of Forli on the death of her consort 
Count Girolamo, for she was thus enabled to escape 
the popular rising and await help from Milan and 
recover the state ; the circumstances being then 
such that no foreigner could assist the people. But 
afterwards they were of little use to her when 
Cesare Borgia attacked her and the people being 
hostile to her allied themselves with the foreigner. 
So that then and before it would have been safer 
for her not to be hated by the people than to have 
the fortresses. Having considered these things I 
would therefore praise the one who erects fortresses 
and the one who does not, and would blame any one 
who, trusting in them, thinks little of being hated 
by his people. 



NOTHING causes a prince to be so much esteemed 
as great enterprises and setting a rare example. 
We have in our own day Ferdinand, King of 
Aragon, at present King of Spain. He may almost 
be termed a new prince, because from a weak king 
he has become for fame and glory the first king in 
Christendom, and if you regard his actions you will 
find them all very great and some of them extra- 
ordinary. At the beginning of his reign he assailed 
Granada, and that enterprise was the foundation 
of his state. At first he did it leisurely and with- 
out fear of being interfered with ; lie kept the 
minds of the barons of Castile occupied in this 
enterprise, so that thinking only of that war they 
did not think of making innovations, and he thus 
acquired reputation and power over them without 
their being aware of it. He was able with the 
money of the Church and the people to maintain 
his armies, and by that long war lay the founda- 
tions of his military power, which afterwards has 
made him famous. Besides this, to be able to 
undertake greater enterprises, and always under 
the pretext of religion, he had recourse to a pious 
cruelty, driving out the Moors from his kingdom 
and despoiling them. No more admirable or rare 


example can be found. He also attacked under 
the same pretext Africa, undertook his Italian enter- 
prise, and has lately attacked France ; so that he 
has continually contrived great things, which have 
kept his subjects' minds uncertain and astonished, 
and occupied in watching their result. 

And these actions have arisen one out of the 
other, so that they have left no time for men to 
settle down and act against him. It is also very 
profitable for a prince to give some rare examples 
of himself in the internal administration, like 
those related of Messer Bernabo of Milan, when 
it happens that some one does something extra- 
ordinary, either good or evil, in civil life, and to 
take a means of rewarding or punishing him which 
will be much talked about. And above all a prince 
must endeavour in every action to obtain fame for 
being great and excellent. A prince is further 
esteemed when he is a true friend or a true enemy, 
when, that is, he declares himself without reserve 
in favour of some one against another. 

This policy is always more useful than remaining 
neutral. For if two neighbouring powers come to 
blows, they are either such that if one wins, you 
will have to fear the victor, or else not. In either 
of these two cases it will be better for you to 
declare yourself openly and make war, because in 
the first case if you do not declare yourself, you 
will fall a prey to the victor, to the pleasure and 
satisfaction of the one who has been defeated, and 
you will have no reason nor anything to defend 
you and nobody to receive you. For, whoever 
wins will not desire friends whom he suspects and 
who do not help him when in trouble, and whoever 
loses will not receive you as you did not take up 
arms to assist his cause. Antiochus went to Greece, 
being sent by the ^Etoli to expel the Romans. He 
sent orators to the Achaei who were friends of the 
Romans to encourage them to remain neutral, on 


the other hand the Romans persuaded them to take 
up arms on their side. The matter was brought 
before the council of the Achaei for deliberation, 
where the ambassador of Antiochus sought to per- 
suade them to remain neutral, to which the Roman 
ambassador replied : (( As to what is said that it is 
best and most useful for your state not to meddle 
in our war, nothing is further from the truth ; for 
if you do not meddle in it you will become, without 
any favour or any reputation, the prize of the 
victor." And it will always happen that the one 
who is not your friend will want you to remain 
neutral, and the one who is your friend will require 
you to declare yourself by taking arms. Irresolute 
princes, to avoid present dangers, usually follow 
the way of neutrality and are mostly ruined by it. 
But when the prince declares himself frankly in 
favour of one side, if the one to whom you adhere 
conquers, even if he is powerful and you remain at 
his discretion, he is under an obligation to you and 
friendship has been established, and men are never 
so dishonest as to oppress you with such ingratitude. 
Moreover, victories are never so prosperous that 
the victor does not need to have some scruples, 
especially as to justice. But if he to whom you 
adhere loses, you are sheltered by him, and so long 
as he can, he will assist you ; you become the com- 
panion of a fortune which may rise again. In the 
second case, when those who fight are such that you 
have nothing to fear from the victor, it is still 
more prudent on your part to adhere to one ; for 
you go to the ruin of one with the help of him 
who ought to save him if he were wise, and if he 
conquers he rests at your discretion, and it is im- 
possible that he should not conquer with your help. 
And here it should be noted that a prince ought 
never to make common cause with one more power- 
ful than himself to injure another, unless necessity 
forces him to it, as before said ; for if he wins you 


rest at his discretion, and princes must avoid as 
much as possible being at the discretion of others. 
The Venetians united with France against the Duke 
of Milan, although they could have avoided that 
union, and from it resulted their own ruin. But 
when one cannot avoid it, as happened to the 
Florentines when the pope and Spain went with 
their armies to attack Lombardy, then the prince 
ought to join for the above reasons. Let no state 
believe that it can follow a secure policy, rather let 
it think that all are doubtful. This is found in 
the nature of things, that one never tries to avoid 
one difficulty without running into another, but 
prudence consists in being able to know the nature 
of the difficulties, and talking the least harmful as 
good. A prince must also show himself a lover of 
merit, and honour those who excel in every art. 
Moreover he must encourage his citizens to follow 
their callings quietly, whether in commerce, or 
agriculture, or any other trade that men follow, so 
that this one shall not refrain from improving his 
possessions through fear that they may be taken 
from him, and that one from starting a trade for 
fear of taxes ; but he should offer rewards to who- 
ever does these things, and to whoever seeks in any 
way to improve his city or state. Besides th'is, he 
ought, at convenient seasons of the year, to keep 
the people occupied with festivals and spectacles ; 
and as every city is divided either into trades or 
into classes, he ought to pay attention to all these 
things, mingle with them from time to time, and 
give them an example of his humanity and magni- 
ficence, always holding firm, however", the majesty 
of his dignity, which must never be allowed to fad 
in anything whatever. 



THE choice of a prince's ministers is a matter of no 
little importance ; they are either good or not ac- 
cording to the prudence of the prince. The first 
impression that one gets of a ruler and of his brains 
is from seeing the men that he has about him. 
When they are competent and faithful one can 
always consider him wise, as he has been able to 
recognise their ability and keep them faithful. But 
when they are the reverse, one can always form an 
unfavourable opinion of him, because the first mis- 
take that he makes is in making this choice. There 
was nobody who knew Messer Antonio da Venafro 
as the minister of Pandolfo Petrucci, Prince of 
Siena, who did not consider Pandolfo to be a very 
prudent man, having him for his minister. There 
are three different kinds of brains, the one under- 
stands things unassisted, the other understands 
things when shown by others, the third understands 
neither alone nor with the explanations of others. 
The first kind is most excellent, the second also 
excellent, but the third useless. It is therefore 
evident that if Pandolfo was not of the first kind, 
he was at any rate of the second. For every time 
that one has the judgment to know the good and 
evil that any one does or says, even if he has no 
invention, yet he recognises the bad and good works 


or his minister and corrects the one and supports 
the other ; and the minister cannot hope to deceive 
him and therefore remains good. For a prince to 
be able to know a minister there is this method 
which never fails. When you see the minister 
think more of himself than of you, and in all his 
actions seek his own profit, such a man will never 
be a good minister, and you can never rely on him ; 
for whoever has in hand the state of another must 
never think of himself but of the prince, and not 
call to mind anything but what relates to him. 
And, on the other hand, the prince, in order to 
retain his fidelity ought to think of his minister, 
honouring and enriching him, doing him kindnesses, 
and conferring on him honours and giving him 
responsible tasks, so that the great honours and 
riches bestowed on him cause him not to desire 
other honours and riches, and the tasks he has to 
fulfil make him fearful of changes, knowing that 
he could not execute them without the prince. 
When princes and their ministers stand in this 
relation to each other, they can rely the one upon 
the other ; when it is otherwise, the end is always 
injurious either for one or the other of them. 



I MUST not omit an important subject, and a mistake 
which princes can with difficulty avoid, if they are 
not very prudent, or if they do not make a good 
choice. And this is with regard to flatterers, of 
which courts are full, because men take such 
pleasure in their own things and deceive themselves 
about them that they can with difficulty guard 
against this plague ; and by wishing to guard 
against it they run the risk of becoming contempt- 
ible. Because there is no other way of guarding 
one's self against flattery than by letting men 
understand that they will not offend you by speak- 
ing the truth ; but when every one can tell you the 
truth, you lose their respect. A prudent prince 
must therefore take a third course, by choosing in 
his state wise men, and giving these alone full 
liberty to speak the truth to him, but only of those 
things that he asks and of nothing else ; but he 
must ask them about everything and hear their 
opinion, and afterwards deliberate by himself in 
his own way, and in these councils and with each 
of these men comport himself so that every one may 
see that the more freely he speaks, the more he 
will be acceptable. Outside these he should listen 
to no one, go about the matter deliberately, and be 
determined in his decisions. Whoever acts other- 


wise either acts precipitately through flattery or 
else changes often through the variety of opinions, 
from which it happens that he is little esteemed. I 
will give a modern instance of this. Pre' Luca, a 
follower of Maximilian, the present emperor, speak- 
ing of his majesty said that he never took counsel 
with anybody, and yet that he never did anything 
as he wished ; this arose from his following the 
contrary method to the aforesaid. As the emperor 
is a secret mail he does not communicate his designs 
to any one or take aiiy one's advice, but as on putting 
them into effect they begin to be known and dis- 
covered, they begin to be opposed by those he lias 
about him, and he is easily diverted from his pur- 
pose. Hence it comes to pass that what he does 
one day he undoes the next, no one ever under- 
stands what he wishes or intends to do, and no 
reliance is to be placed on his deliberations. A 
prince, therefore, ought always to take- counsel, 
but only when he wishes, riot when others wish ; 
on the contrary he ought to discourage absolutely 
attempts to advise him unless he asks it, but he 
ought to be a great asker, and a patient hearer of 
the truth about those things which he has inquired 
of; indeed, if he finds that any one has scruples 
in telling him the truth he should be angry. And 
since some think that a prince who gains the re- 
putation of being prudent is so considered, not by 
his nature but by the good councillors he has about 
him, they are undoubtedly deceived. It is an in- 
fallible rule that a prince who is not wise himself 
cannot be well advised, unless by chance he left 
himself entirely in the hands of one man who ruled 
him in everything, and happened to be a very 
prudent man. In this case he may doubtless be 
well governed, but it would not last long, for that 
governor would in a short time deprive him of the 
state ; but by taking counsel with many, a prince 
who is not wise will never have united councils and 


will not be able to unite them for himself. The 
councillors will all think of their own interests, and 
he will be unable either to correct or to understand 
them. And it cannot be otherwise, for men will 
always be false to you unless they are compelled by 
necessity to be true. 

Therefore it must be concluded that wise counsels, 
from whoever they come, must necessarily be due 
to the prudence of the prince, and not the prudence 
of the prince to the good counsels received. 



THE before-mentioned things, if prudently observed, 
make a new prince seem ancient, and render him 
at once more secure and firmer in the state than if 
he had been established there of old. For a new 
prince is much more observed in his actions than 
a hereditary one, and when these are recognised 
as virtuous, he gains men more and they are 
more bound to him than if he were of the ancient 
blood. For men are much more taken by present 
than by past things, and when they find them- 
selves well off in the present, they enjoy it and 
seek nothing more ; on the contrary, they will do 
all they can to defend him, so long as the prince is 
not in other things wanting to himself. And thus 
he will have the double glory of having founded 
a new realm and adorned it and fortified it with 
good laws, good arms, good friends and good 
examples ; as he will have double shame who is 
born a prince and through want of prudence has 
lost it. 

And if one considers those rulers who have lost 
their position in Italy in our days, such as the King 
of Naples, the Duke of Milan and others, one will 
find in them first a common defect as to their 
arms, for the reasons discussed at length, then we 


observe that some of them either had the people 
hostile to them, or that if the people were friendly 
they were not able to make sure of the nobility, for 
without these defects, states are not lost that have 
enough strength to be able to keep an army in the 
field. Philip of Macedon, not the father of Alexander 
the Great, but the one who was conquered by Titus 
Quinteus, did not possess a great state compared to 
the greatness of Rome and Greece which assailed 
him, but being a military man and one who knew 
how to divert the people and make sure of the great, 
he was able to sustain the war against them for 
many years ; and if at length he lost his power over 
several cities, he was still able to keep his kingdom. 
Therefore, those of our princes who had held their 
possessions for many years must not accuse fortune 
for having lost them, but rather their own negli- 
gence ; for having never in quiet times considered 
that things might change (as it is a common fault 
of men not to reckon on storms, in fair weather) 
when adverse times came, they only thought of 
fleeing from them, instead of defending themselves ; 
and hoped that the people, enraged by the insolence 
of the conquerors, would recall them. This measure, 
when others are wanting, is good ; but it is very 
bad to have neglected the other remedies for that 
one, for nobody would desire to fall because he 
believed that he would then find some one to pick 
him up. This may or may not take place, and if it 
does, it is not with safety to you, as that defence is 
known to be cowardly and" not to be depended on ; 
and only those defences are good, certain and 
durable, which depend only on yourself and your 
own ability 



IT is not unknown to me how many have been and 
are of opinion that worldly events are so governed 
by fortune and by God, that men cannot by their 
prudence change them, and that on the contrary 
there is no remedy whatever, and for this they may 
judge it to be useless to toil much about them, but 
let things be ruled by chance. This opinion has 
been more believed in in our day, from the great 
changes that have been seen, and are daily seen, 
beyond every human conjecture. 

When I think about them at times, I am partly 
inclined to share this opinion. Nevertheless, that 
our freewill may not be altogether extinguished, I 
think it may be true .that fortune^ is the ruler^of 
half our actions, but that she allows'TEe otEer half 
or a little less to be governed by us. 1 would com- 
pare her to an impetuous river that, when turbulent, 
inundates the plains, ruins trees and buildings, 
removes earth from this side and places it on the 
other ; every one flies before it, and everything 
yields to its fury without being able to oppose 
it ; and yet though it is of such a kind, still 
when it is quiet, men can make provision against 
it by dams and banks, so that when it rises it will 
either go into a canal or its rush will not be so wild 


and dan ownnW^ l almiJfljJ^if Vi fortune, 
which shows her powej^ffT6fe - no measures have 
been taken to resist her, and turns her fury where 
she knows that no dams or barriers have been made 
to hold her. And if you regard Italy, which has 
been the seat of these changes, and who has given 
the impulse to them, you will see her to be a 
country without dams or barriers of any kind. If 
she had been protected by proper measures, like 
Germany, Spain, and France, this inundation would 
not have caused the great changes that it has, 
or would not have happened at all. This must 
suffice as regards opposition to fortune in general. 
But limiting myself more to particular cases, I 
would point out how one sees a certain prince 
to-day fortunate and to-morrow ruined, without 
seeing that he has changed in character or other- 
wise. I believe this arises in the first place from 
the causes that we have already discussed at 
length ; that is to say, because the prince who bases 
himself entirely on fortune is ruined when fortune 
varies. I also believe that he is happy whose mode 
of proceeding accords with the needs of the times, 
and similarly he is unfortunate whose mode of pro- 
ceeding is opposed to the times. For one sees that 
men in those things which lead them to the aim 
that each one has in view, namely, glory and riches, 
proceed in various ways ; one with circumspection, 
another with impetuosity, one by violence, another 
by cunning, one with patience, another with the 
reverse ; and each by these diverse ways may arrive 
at his aim. One sees also two cautious men, one of 
whom succeeds in his designs, and the other not, 
and in the same way two men succeed equally by 
different methods, one being cautious, the other 
impetuous, which arises only from the nature of the 
times, which does or does not conform to their 
method of proceeding. From this results, as I have 
said, that two men, acting differently, attain the 


same effect, and of two others acting in the same 
way, one arrives at his good and not the other. 
From this depend also the changes in fortune, for if 
it happens that time and circumstances are favour- 
able to one who acts with caution and prudence he 
will be successful, but if time and circumstances 
change he will be ruined, because he does not 
change his mode of proceeding. No man is found 
able to adapt himself to this, either because he 
cannot deviate from that to which his nature dis- 
poses him, or else because having always prospered 
by walking in one path, he cannot persuade himself 
that it is well to leave it ; and therefore the cautious 
man, when it is time to act suddenly, does not know 
how to do so and is consequently ruined ; for if one 
could change one's nature with time and circum- 
stances, fortune would never change. Pope Julius 
II. acted impetuously in everything he did and 
found the times and conditions so in conformity 
with that mode of proceeding, that he always ob- 
tained a good result. Consider the first war that 
he made against Bologna while Messer Giovanni 
Bentivogli was still living. The Venetians were 
not pleased with it, the King of Spain and like- 
wise France had objections to this enterprise, not- 
withstanding which with his fierce and impetuous 
disposition he engaged personally in the expedition. 
This move caused both Spain and the Venetians to 
halt and hesitate, the latter through fear, the 
former through the desire to regain the entire 
kingdom of Naples. On the other hand, he engaged 
with him the King of France, because seeing him 
make this move and desiring his friendship in order 
to put down the Venetians, that king judged that he 
could not refuse him his troops without manifest 
injury. Thus Julius by his impetuous move 
achieved what no other pontiff with the utmost 
human prudence would have succeeded in doing, 
because, if he had waited till all arrangements had 


been made and everything settled before leaving 
Rome, as any other pontiff would have done, it 
would never have taken place. For the king of 
France would have found a thousand excuses, and 
the others would have inspired him with a thousand 
fears. I will omit his other actions, which were all 
of this kind and which all succeeded well, and the 
shortness of his life did not suffer him to experience 
the contrary, for had times succeeded in which it 
was necessary to act with caution, his ruin would 
have resulted, for he would never have deviated 
from these methods to which his nature disposed 
him. I conclude then that fortune varying and 
men remaining fixed in their ways, they are success- 
ful so long as these ways conform to each other, but 
when they are opposed to each other then they are 
unsuccessful. I certainly think that it is better to 
be impetuous than cautious, for fortune is a woman, 
and it is necessary, if you wish to master her, to 
conquer her by force ; and it can be seen that she 
lets herself be overcome by these rather than by 
those who proceed coldly. And therefore, like a 
woman, she is a friend to the young, because they 
are less cautious, fiercer, and master her with greater 



HAVING now considered all the things we have 
spoken of, and thought within myself whether at 
present the time was not propitious in Italy for a 
new prince, and if there was not a state of things 
which offered an opportunity to a prudent and 
capable man to introduce a new system that would 
do honour to himself and good to the mass of the 
people, it seems to me that so many things concur 
to favour a new ruler that I do not know of any 
time more fitting for such an enterprise. And if, 
as I said, it was necessary in order that the power 
of Moses should be displayed that the people of 
Israel should be slaves in Egypt, and to give scope 
for the greatness and courage of Cyrus that the 
Persians should be oppressed by the Medes, and to 
illustrate the pre-eminence of Theseus that the 
Athenians should be dispersed, so at the present 
time, in order that the might of an Italian genius 
might be recognised, it was necessary that Italy 
should be reduced to her present condition, and 
that she should be more enslaved than the Hebrews, 
more oppressed than the Persians, and more scattered 
than the Athenians ; without a head, without order, 
beaten, despoiled, lacerated, and overrun, and that 
she should have suffered ruin of every kind. And 


although before now a spirit has been shown by some 
which gave hope that he might be appointed by God 
for her redemption, yet at the highest summit of his 
career he was thrown aside by fortune, so that now, 
almost lifeless, she awaits one who may heal her 
wounds and put a stop to the rapine and pillaging 
of Lombardy, to the rapacity and extortion in the 
kingdom and in Tuscany, and cure her of those 
sores which have long been festering. Behold how 
she prays God to send some one to redeem her from 
this barbarous cruelty and insolence. Behold her 
ready and willing to follow any standard if only 
there be some one to raise it. There is nothing now 
she can hope for but that your illustrious house may 
place itself at the head of this redemption, being by 
its power and fortune so exalted, and being favoured 
by God and the Church, whose leadership it now 
occupies. Nor will this be very difficult to you, if 
you call to mind the actions and lives of the men 
I have named. And although those men were rare 
and marvellous, they were none the less men, and 
had each of them less occasion than the present, for 
their enterprise was not juster than this, nor easier, 
nor was God more their friend than He is yours. 
Here is a just cause ; for that war is just which is 
necessary ; and those arms are merciful where no 
hope exists save in them. Here is the greatest 
willingness, nor can there be great difficulty where 
there is great willingness, provided that the measures 
are adopted of those whom I have set before you as 
examples. Besides this, unexampled wonders have 
been seen here performed by God, the sea has been 
opened, a cloud has shown you the road, the rock 
has given forth water, manna has rained, and 
everything has contributed to your greatness, the 
remainder must be done by you. God will not do 
everything, in order not to deprive us of freewill 
and the portion of the glory that falls to our lot. 
It is no marvel that none of the before-mentioned 


Italians have done that which it is to be hoped your 
illustrious house may do ; and if in so many revolu- 
tions in Italy and so many warlike operations, it 
always seems as if the military capacity were extinct, 
this is because the ancient methods were not good, 
and no one has arisen who knew how to discover 
new ones. Nothing does so much honour to a 
newly-risen man than the new laws and measures 
which he introduces. These things, when they are 
well based and have greatness in them, render him 
revered and admired, and there is not lacking scope 
in Italy for the introduction of every kind. Here 
there is great virtue in the members, if it were 
not wanting in the heads. Look how in duels and 
in councils of a few the Italians are superior in 
strength, dexterity, and intelligence. But when it 
comes to armies they make a poor show ; which 
proceeds entirely from the weakness of the leaders, 
for those that know are not obedient, and every one 
thinks that he knows, there being hitherto nobody 
who has raised himself so high both by valour and 
fortune as to make the others yield. Hence it comes 
about that in all this time, in all the wars waged 
during the last twenty years, whenever there has 
been an army entirely Italian it has always been 
a failure, as witness first Taro, then Alexandria, 
Capua, Genoa, Vaila, Bologna, and Mestri. If your 
illustrious house, therefore, wishes to follow those 
great men who redeemed their countries, it is before 
all things necessary, as the true foundation of every 
undertaking, to provide yourself with your own 
forces, for you cannot have more faithful, or truer 
and better soldiers. And although each one of 
them may be good, they will together become better 
when they see themselves commanded by their 
prince, and honoured and supported by him. It is 
therefore necessary to prepare such forces in order 
to be able with Italian prowess to defend the country 
from foreigners. And although both the Swiss and 


Spanish infantry are deemed terrible, none the less 
they each have their defects, so that a third order 
might not only oppose them, but be confident of 
overcoming them. For the Spaniards cannot sustain 
the attack of cavalry, and the Swiss have to fear 
infantry which meets them with resolution equal 
to their own. From which it has resulted, as will 
be seen by experience, that the Spaniards cannot 
sustain the attack of French cavalry, and the Swiss 
are overthrown by Spanish infantry. And although 
a complete example of the latter has not been seen, 
yet an instance was furnished in the battle of 
Ravenna, where the Spanish infantry attacked the 
German battalions, which observe the same order 
as the Swiss. The Spaniards, through their bodily 
agility and aided by their bucklers, had entered 
between and under their pikes and were in a position 
to attack them safely without the Germans being 
able to defend themselves ; and if the cavalry had 
not charged them they would have utterly destroyed 
them. Knowing therefore the defects of both these 
kinds of infantry, a third kind can be created which 
can resist cavalry and need not fear infantry, and 
this will be done not by the creation of armies but 
by a change of system. And these are the things 
which, when newly introduced, give reputation and 
grandeur to a new prince. This opportunity must 
not, therefore, be allowed to pass, for letting Italy at 
length see her liberator. I cannot express the love 
with which he would be received in all those 
provinces which have suffered under these foreign 
invasions, with what thirst for vengeance, with 
what steadfast faith, with what love, with what 
grateful tears. What doors would be closed against 
him? What people would refuse him obedience? 
What envy could oppose him ? What Italian would 
rebel against himr This barbarous domination 
stinks in the nostrils of every one. May your 
illustrious house therefore assume this task with 


that courage and those hopes which are inspired by 
a just cause, so that under its banner our fatherland 
may be raised up, and under its auspices be verified 
that saying of Petrarch : 

Valour against fell wrath 

Will take up arms ; and be the combat quickly sped 1 

For, sure, the ancient worth, 

That in Italians stirs the heart, is not yet dead. 




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The figures in parentheses denote the number of the took in the series 

Aeschylus. The Seven Plays. Translated by LEWIS CAMPBELL. (117) 
Ainsworth (W. Harrison). The Tower of London. (162) 
A Kempis (Thomas). Of the Imitation of Christ. (49) 
Aristophanes. Frere's translation of the Acharnians, Knights, Birds, 

and Frogs. Introduction by W. W. MERRY. (134) 
Arnold (Matthew). Poems. Intro, by Sir A. T. QuiLLER-Coucn. (85) 
Aurelius (Marcus). Thoughts. Trans. J. JACKSON. (60) 
Austen (Jane). Emma. Introduction by E. V. LUCAS. (129) 
Bacon. The Advancement of Learning, and the New Atlantis. Intro- 
duction by Professor CASE. (93) 
Essays. (24) 

Barham. The Ingoldsby Legends. (9) 
Barrow (Sir John). The Mutiny of the Bounty. Introduction by 

Admiral Sir CYPRIAN BRIDGE. (195) 
Betham-Ed wards (M.). The Lord of the Harvest. Introduction by 


Blackmore (R. D.). Lorna Doone. Intro, by T. H. WARRBH. (171) 
Borrow. The Bible in Spain. (75) 
Lavengro. (66). 
The Romany Rye. (73) 
Wild Wales. (224) 
Bronte Sisters. 

Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre, (i) 
bhirley. (14) 
Villette. (47) 

The Professor, and the Poems of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne 
Bronte. Introduction by THEODORE WATTS-DbNTON. (78) 
Emily Bronte'. Wuthering Heights. (10) 
Anne Bronte. Agnes Grey. (141) 

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. (67) 

Brown (Dr. John). Horae Subsecivae. Intro, by AUSTIN DOBSON. (118) 
Browning (Elizabeth Barrett). Poems: A Selection. (176) 
Browning (Robert). Poems and Plays, 1833-1842. (58) 

Poems, 1842-1864. (137) 

Buckle. The History of Civilization in England. 3 vols. (41, 48, 53) 
Bunyan. The Pilgrim's Progress. (12) 
Burke. Works. 6 vols. 

Vol. I. General Introduction by Judge WILLIS and Preface by F. W. 

RAFFETY. (71) 

Vols. II, IV, V, VI. Prefaces by F. W. RAFFETY. (81, 112-114) 
Vol. III. Preface by F. H. WILLIS, (m) 


List of the Series continued 

Burns. Poems. (34) 

Butter. The Analogy of Religion. Edited, with Notes, by W. E. 

Byron. Poems : A Selection. (180) 
Carlyle. On Heroes and Hero- Worship. (62) 

Past and Present. Introduction by G. K. CHESTERTON. (153) 

Sartor Resartus. (19) 

The French Revolution. Intro. C. R. L. FLETCHER, a vols. (125, 126) 

The Life of John Sterling. Introduction by W. HALE WHITE. (144) 
Cervantes. Don Quixote. Translated by C. JERVAS. Intro, and Notes by 
J. FiTZMAURICB-KELLY. 2 vols. With a frontispiece. (130, 131) 
Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales. (76) 

Chaucer. The Works of. From the text of Professor SKEAT. 3 vols. 
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Cobbold. Margaret Catchpole. Intro, by CLEMENT SHORTER. (119) 
Coleridge. Poems. Introduction by Sir A. T. QuiLLER-Coucn. (99) 
Collins (Wilkie). The Woman in White. (226). 
Cooper (T. Fenimore). The Last of the Mohicans. (163) 
Cowper. Letters. Selected, with Introduction, by E. V. LUCAS. (138) 
Darvrin. The Origin of Species. With a Note by GRANT ALLBN. (n) 
Defoe. Captain Singleton. Intro, by THEODORE WATTS-DuNTON. (82) 

Robinson Crusoe. (17) 

De Quincey. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. (23) 
Dickens. Great Expectations. With 6 Illustrations by WARWICK 
GOBLE. (128) 

Oliver Twist. (8) 

Pickwick Papers. With 43 Illustrations by SEYMOUR and 'Pniz'. 

2 VOls. (l2O, 12 1) 

Tale of Two Cities. (38) 
Dufferin (Lord). Letters from High Latitudes. Illustrated. With 

Introduction by R. W. MACAN. (158) 
Eliot (George). Adam Bede. (63) 

Felix Holt. Introduction by VIOLA MBYNELL. (179) 

Rornola. Introduction by VIOLA MEYNELL. (178) 

Scenes of Clerical Life. Introduction by ANNIE MATHESON. (155) 

Silas Marner, The Lifted Veil, and Brother Jacob. Introduction by 

The Mill on the Floss. (31) 
Emerson. English Traits, and Representative Men. (30) 

Essays. First and Second Series. (6) 

English Critical Essays (Nineteenth Century). Selected and Edited 
by EDMUND D. JONES. (206) 


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and B. H. BLACKWELL. (172) 
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edited by M. DUCKITT and H. WRAGG. (192) 
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Landor to Holmes (222) 

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by H. A. TREBLE. (204) 

English Short Stories. (Nineteenth Century.) Introduction by 
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Second Series. (228) 

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English Speeches, from Burke to Gladstone. Selected by EDGAR 

R.JONES, M.P. (191). 

Fielding. Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, &c. Intro. A. DOBSON. (142) 
Gait (John). The Entail. Introduction by JOHN AyscouGH. (177) 
Gaskell (Mrs.). Introductions by CLEMENT SHORTER. 

Cousin Pliillis, and other Tales, &c. (168) 

Cranford, The Cage at Cranford, and the Moorland Cottage, (no) 

Lizzie Leigh, The Grey Woman, and other Tales, &c. (175) 

Mary Barton. (86) 

North and South. (154) 

Right at Last, and other Tales, &c. (203) 

Round the Sofa. (190) 

Ruth. (88) 

Sylvia's Lovers. (156) 

Wives and Daughters. (157) 

Life of Charlotte Bronte. (214) 

Gibhon. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. With Maps. 7 vols. 
(35, 44, 5*i 64, 69, 74) 

Autobiography. Introduction by J. B. BURY. (139) 
Goethe. Faust, Part I (with Marlowe's Dr. Faustus). Translated by 

JOHN ANSTER. Introduction by Sir A W. WARD. (135) 
Goldsmith. Poems. Introduction and Notes by AUSTIN DOBSON. (123) 

The Vicar of Wakefield. (4) 
Grant (James). The Captain of the Guard. (159) 
Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter. (26) 

Hazlitt. Characters of Shakespeare's Plays. Introduction by Sir A. 

Lectures on the English Comic Writers. Introduction by R. BRIMLEY 
JOHNSON. (124) 

Sketches and Essays, (i*) 

Spirit of the Age. (57) * 

Table-Talk. (5) 

Winterslow. (25) 



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Shakespearean Criticism. A Selection. Edited with Intro., b 

Shelley. Poems. A Selection. (187) 

Sheridan. Plays. Introduction by JOSEPH KNIGHT. (79) 

Smith (Adam). The Wealth of Nations, 2 vols. (54, 59) 

Smith (Alexander). Dreamthorp, with Selections from Last Leaves 
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Smollett. Travels through France and Italy. Introduction by THOMAI 

Sophocles. Th'e Seven Plays. Trans. LEWIS CAMPBELL. (116) 

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Swift. Gulliver's Travels. (20) 

Taylor (Meadows). Confessions of a Thug. (207) 

Tennyson (Lord). Poems. (3) 

Thackeray. Book of Snobs, Sketches and Travels in London, &c. (50 
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Thoreau. Walden. Introduction by THEODORE WATTS-DUNTON. (68) 

Tolstoy. Essays and Letters. Translated by AYLMER MAUDE. (46) 
Twenty-three Tales. Translated by L. and A. MAUDE. (72) 
The Cossacks. Translated by L. and A. MAUUE. (208) 
Resurrection. Trans. L. MAUDE. Intro. A. MAUDE. (209) 
Anna Karenina. Trans. AYLMER MAUDE. 2 vols. (210, 211) 
A Confession, and What I believe. Trans. AYLMER MAUDE. (229) 

Trollope. The Three Clerks. Intro, by W. TEIGNMOUTH SHORE. (i4< 
The Warden. (217) 

Virgil. Translated by DRYDEN. (37) 

Virgil. The Aeneid and the Georgics. Trans. J. RHOADES. (227) 

Watts-Dunton (Theodore). Aylwin. (52) 

Wells (Charles). Joseph and his Brethren. With an Introduction by 
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE, and a Note on Rossetti and 
Charles Wells by THEODORE WATTS-DuNTON. (143) 

White (Gilbert). The Natural History of Selborne. (22) 

Whitman. Poems. Introduction by E. DE SELINCOURT. (218) 

Whittier. Poems. A Selection. (188) 

Wordsworth. Poems : A Selection. (189) 







Machiavelli, N. 
The Prince